Collier Row man jailed for stabbing his dog to death

A MAN who “lost his mind” and stabbed his family dog to death “play-fighting” has been locked up for 18 weeks.

Shaun Cooper, 25, of Navarre Gardens, Collier Row, was jailed by Havering Magistrates today watched by his tearful girlfriend, step-mother and father.

Cooper was spotted by children “dragging a carrier bag towards the River Rom area” which they suspected contained an animal.

After it was dumped the children traced it and found the bleeding carcass of a Lancashire Heeler and ran home to tell their parents.

Prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA Elizabeth Ajayi said: “When an officer attended the address they found a small group of adults and children in distress.”

“At Mr Cooper’s address they found blood stained clothing.”

She added a neighbour also saw Cooper with blood on his hands when asking for a lighter for a cigarette.

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She described how Cooper had tortured his pet by stabbing the left side of his chest and shoulder causing “substantial haemorrhaging”.

Mrs Ajayi said: “His right ear was also completely severed. His right fore leg was almost severed. He had multiple wounds.”

A report from a vet concluded the wounds were consistent with a “flat-bladed knife without serration” such as a kitchen knife or hunting knife.

Mrs Alayi read the report which said: “The dog had extensive wounds and haemorrhaging and would have eventually died from massive blood loss, shock and loss of consciousness.”

Police found the weapon he had used to do the evil deed in his bath.

Mrs Ajayi said: “He admitted to having a dog, named Diesel, and admitted they were play-fighting. That was what led to his death.”

“He told police the dog had been run over by a car and he took it to the River Rom because he knew he was dead.”

Defending Cooper, Romeo Maku-Kemi, said: “He has asked me to apologise for what happened to the family’s dog.

“He feels terrible about it and ashamed. He likes the dog.”

The court heard Cooper had a history of mental health and drinking problems and “had been drinking heavily that day”.

“That caused his psychosis,” Mr Maku-Kemi said.

He said Cooper remembered giving Diesel a bath and “the next thing he had seen he had done all this damage to this animal”.

“It was something that happened because he lost his mind coupled widely due to alcohol coupled with a history of psychosis.”

Cooper pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, namely by cutting and stabbing his pet dog, at Havering Magistrates’ Court on September 27.

He has been held in custody ever since.

Sentencing chairman of the magistrates Mrs Seabright said: “The offence is so serious only a custodial sentence can be justified. The reasons are for the nature and seriousness of the offence and in particular the horrendous injuries caused to this animal and that these actions were aggravated by drinking.”

Cooper’s guilty plea was taken into account. He will serve the second half of his sentence on licence.

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