“A mixed ball of love.” That is how the owner of Mishka the dog — fatally attacked by her daughter’s former partner in Canberra this year — has described the Pekingese/Maltese cross.
- A 27-year-old Canberra man has been sentenced to four months’ jail for a “callous” attack on a dog
- The dog had to be euthanased because the attack broke her neck
- The court heard the man derived “satisfaction” from the beating
The 27-year-old offender has been sentenced in the ACT Magistrates Court to four months’ jail and banned from owning a pet for five years.
The court viewed confronting footage of the attack as the man kicked, punched and hit the dog with the handle of a small shovel in several bursts over 20 minutes.
In the footage the man returns to attack Mishka several times as she cowers in a corner of a backyard.
Prosecutor Elizabeth West told the court the attack was prolonged and escalated over time.
“He could have stopped at any time, and did stop, but went back and continued,” she said.
“The defendant displayed a chilling callousness towards the animal.
“It was despicable and directed at a vulnerable animal.”
Ms West noted that at one point the man appeared to be smiling.
The man sat with his back to the screen as the CCTV footage from the backyard was played to the court.
The footage, edited here for clarity, shows the man repeatedly hitting the dog with a spade, after which it stops moving. (Supplied)
His lawyer Sam McLaughlin told the court the man had been suffering several stresses at the time, in his relationship and at work.
But he said he was immediately remorseful when he spoke to police.
“Thinking about it made him feel sick,” he said.
Mishka’s owner told the court an x-ray showed her pet had a broken neck, requiring her to be euthanased.
“To make such a painful decision, it was not fair,” the owner said.
There was a tense atmosphere in the court as the dog’s owner and other family members watched the proceedings.
‘The defendant obtained some sort of satisfaction’
Acting Chief Magistrate Glenn Theakston said it was a serious offence and the footage was hard to watch.
“It appears the defendant obtained some sort of satisfaction,” he said.
The 27-year-old, who pleaded guilty, has already been in jail for a month, but the court heard more time was justified.
“It is certainly nowhere near enough,” Acting Chief Magistrate Theakston said.
The offender will be eligible for release after three months, and will have to serve an 18-month good behaviour order.