A MAN who booted his dog into the air in front of two police officers has been banned from keeping animals and ordered to pay £1,000.
Neal Stockton was arrested after being spotted attacking his young Staffordshire Bull Terrier after he tripped over its lead.
Stockton appeared at North Staffordshire Magistrates Court yesterday and was banned from keeping animals for five years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Andrew Meachin, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: "Two police officers were on duty in Trinity Street when their attention was drawn to Neal Stockton, who was walking towards them with a dog on a metal lead.
"He then reappeared from Stafford Street and was 20ft away when he lurched forward as if tripping over the lead and with his right hand, pulled the dog sharply.
"He then put his right foot well back and kicked out which connected with the dog."
The police officers who witnessed the attack say the force of the blow resulted in the animal's front and rear legs being lifted from the ground.
"The incident was witnessed by members of the public who were relieved he was arrested."
The dog was taken to a vet where no physical injuries were found. However, it was noted the animal appeared nervous.
The RSPCA asked for costs totalling £1,280 to cover the kennel bill, vets cost, legal fees and the price of the investigation.
Simon Dykes, defending, said: "It's not a classic RSPCA case of prolonged cruelty towards an animal. This was an impulsive attack.
"It was one momentary lapse where he lost his temper and there was no evidence the dog was neglected."
Despite claims that Stockton has 'limited means', magistrates ordered him to pay £1,000 towards the costs with a payment of £10-per-week.
RSPCA Inspector Laura Bryant, left, welcomed the decision of the court.
She said: "It was an interesting case because the dog has received no physical injuries but it has suffered from emotional injuries which we take just as seriously. An animal should not be living in fear.
"Although it suffered no injuries from the attack, what happened was completely unacceptable.
"We are pleased with the decision and would also like to thank the police for reacting so quickly and efficiently."
The dog is currently being assessed by staff at the RSPCA before it is rehomed.
AND MEANWHILE FROM THE SAME AREA!
A FATHER who left a man with a blood clot on the brain after punching him once outside a pub has been spared jail.
John Guilliard hit Robert Patalong, his partner's ex, after an incident at the White Lion in Leek.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard there had been issues over Mr Patalong – who is the children's father – having contact them, which led to an argument.
CCTV footage shown in court showed Mr Patalong and Mrs Dale arguing, while Guilliard stood back. They then got into the car and Guilliard drove them away.
But when Mr Patalong continued to shout at them, Guilliard reversed the car, got out and punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground.
Paul Farrow, prosecuting, said: "The licensee, having been disturbed by the commotion, came out and saw the victim lying unconscious on the floor.
"He came around and was helped back into the pub. He walked back home with his father. He had a very bad headache and appeared drunk.
"His father heard a bang shortly after they returned home. He went upstairs and found the complainant collapsed and fitting.
"He was taken to hospital and was unconscious on arrival."
Mr Patalong was left in a coma after doctors found a blood clot on his brain, which required a 'life-saving' operation involving the removal of a large section of the skull.
He later had a plate inserted into his skull. In a victim impact statement Mr Patalong said the injury had left him unable to do things for himself, and needing constant care.
Guilliard, aged 41, was arrested the day after the attack, which happened on April 19 last year. He pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.
"Medical evidence provided in February says Robert Patalong has recovered well from the incident.
"There was severe provocation in this case, and it was completely out of character."
The court heard Mrs Dale had suffered domestic abuse at the hands of Mr Patalong in the past.
Judge Paul Glenn handed Guilliard, of Waterloo Street, Leek, a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Guilliard must also complete 200 hours unpaid work and pay £1,200 costs.