AN EASTBOURNE man who stabbed his friend’s dog in the neck has been banned from keeping animals for life and received a suspended prison sentence.
Marcus Adams (pictured) narrowly escaped an immediate spell in jail after Eastbourne magistrates heard yesterday (Thursday) how he attacked the American Bulldog Cross when it began growling at him.
The 43-year-old had been bitten by the dog earlier that day following a row with his friend Michael Fitzgerald.
Adams, who was lodging at the property, was drunk when he lashed out at the dog called Skye later on.
The court was told the defendant had fallen asleep and when the animal had growled at him later on he feared he would be attacked again, picked up a pen knife and stabbed the dog once in the neck.
The injuries were non-fatal but the dog was put down later on because it was dangerous.
Adams, of Jevington Gardens, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dog. His plea was on a basis that he had suffered bite marks and bruising after being attacked by the dog earlier in the day on December 14 last year and he thought he was going to be harmed again.
A report by probation was read to magistrates which explained Adams had an alcohol problem and suffered from anxiety and depression.
Maxine Buck, defending, said, “It was a non-fatal injury and Mr Fitzgerald was prosecuted for causing unnecessary suffering because he didn’t get a vet.
“ The animal was drinking and eating and he didn’t think it was necessary to get vet’s help.
“Mr Adams is suffering from anxiety and depression. He was being treated by a GP and found the medication very difficult to deal with.
“He has been voluntarily involved with Health in Mind to help treat him with anxiety and depression.
“He also has problems with alcohol abuse and he does want to deal with that.
“He has worked in the past as a carpenter and there’s the opportunity to go back to that if he can get his life back on track.
“I would recommend the suggestions by probation to deal with this by supervision and a specific activity requirement.
“He’s very shameful and remorseful about what happened and wished it didn’t happen at all.”
Magistrates sentenced Adams to 12 weeks jail suspended for one year. He was also given a 12 month supervision order with a specific activity requirement to attend alcohol treatment sessions.
He was disqualified from owning, keeping, controlling, dealing or transporting any animal for life and cannot appeal against this until after a five year period.
He must also pay £94.50 in vet costs and £150 court costs.
Speaking after the hearing RSPCA inspector Tony Pritchard said, “I think it’s a satisfactory outcome.
“The court understood the seriousness of the offence and the main thing is he has been banned from keeping animals for life which will hopefully prevent this from ever happening again.”