Lowestoft man who punched and slapped two Labradors has his animal ban cut

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A man who was banned from keeping dogs for 15 years after footage showed him punching and slapping his two Labradors has had the disqualification reduced from 15 years to 10.

The RSPCA was called after a neighbour filmed the ill treatment on his mobile phone in October, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The dogs were subsequently removed from 29-year-old Darren Mansi’s care and in March he appeared at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court and admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a two-year-old male golden Labrador cross called Marmaduke, and a one-year-old female black Labrador cross called Nula, aged one.

Mansi, of School Lane, Harleston, accepted hitting the dogs on the chest and back and slapping them across the face and as well as the ban he was fined £6,363 and ordered to do 180 hours community service.

Yesterday Mansi appealed against the sentence at Ipswich Crown Court.

After hearing submissions by Mansi’s barrister Andrew Thompson, Judge Martyn Levett, sitting with two magistrates, agreed to reduce the period of disqualification from 15 years to 10 on the grounds it was “unduly disproportionate” as it was only one incident.

The bench also agreed to reduce the period of unpaid work from 180 hours to 100 and reduced a restriction on him applying for the ban on keeping dogs to be lifted from ten years to one year. During the appeal hearing Mr Thompson said the two dogs belonged to Mansi’s wife and Judge Levett said there was nothing to stop her from having the dogs back but her husband would have to abide by the terms of the disqualification.

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Judge Levett ordered that Mansi’s costs for the appeal hearing should be paid from central funds.

The footage filmed by Mansi’s neighbour showed him hitting Marmaduke hard four times across the face, causing him to yelp in pain. He then slapped Nula five or six times across the face, causing her to run to her bed and cowe, then calling her back to punch her in the chest and slap her on her back.

The RSPCA visited with the police who took the dogs into their possession and placed them into RSPCA care.

The court heard that Mansi admitted being too harsh with the dogs and that his behaviour was unacceptable.

After the hearing in March RSPCA Inspector Amy Collingsworth said: “There is absolutely no excuse for treating these two dogs in this threatening way.

“The punches and slaps were carried out with considerable force and both dogs show clear signs of fear and distress – it is so upsetting to see.

“Both Nula and Marmaduke were incredibly nervous following their ordeal, but are making good progress in care now.”