Teen jailed for clubbing dog to death

A TEENAGER who clubbed his grandmother's dog to death with a stair post and threw its corpse at its owner was starting a four-month jail sentence last night .

A TEENAGER who clubbed his grandmother's dog to death with a stair post and threw its corpse at its owner was starting a four-month jail sentence last night .

Christopher Munns, of Hills Road, Saham Hills, near Watton, subjected the eight-year-old Jack Russell terrier Floss to such a “sustained” and “forceful” attack that prison was the only option, magistrates said yesterday.

The 18-year-old was also banned from keeping any animal for ten years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to the dog by improper killing at his grandparents' house in Sedge Fen, near Lakenheath.

After the hearing, chief inspector Mark Thompson for the RSPCA, said: “The magistrates are sending a message to members of the public that this sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the courts. If you kick or beat animals, there is only one place you will go.

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“I am pleased that the magistrates have taken it so seriously that they have sent him to prison. A ten year ban on keeping animals is very important for the future. This was not a case of neglect; this was actual physical abuse where the dog received such a beating that it suffered a long, slow death.”

Mildenhall Magistrates' Court heard that Charlotte and Kelvin James had left Munns alone at their smallholding at Sedge Fen during the evening of March 20, but when they returned later that night, they found Floss dead.

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Sara Young, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Munns told his grandmother that he had hit the dog on the head after it had bit him on the finger and the arm.

“He was sitting on the sofa and the dog was on the living room floor and was obviously dead. Mrs James went to phone Munns' mother and he picked up the dog and threw it at her, saying 'have your ******* dog',” she said.

Munns was later interviewed and told RSPCA officers that he had “got really mad” with the Jack Russell after it bit him and he hit it with a 2ft long piece of wood with screws sticking out of it. He could not remember how many times he beat the dog, but admitted that he “hit it hard”, said Miss Young.

A post mortem examination found that Floss had received at least five blows to its body of “extreme” force, which fractured eight ribs. It also found that the dog was conscious during the majority of the attack and would have died slowly.

Claire Lockwood, in mitigation, said Munns was seeking anger management help from his GP and Norfolk mental health services and said that prison would not help her client's rehabilitation.

“He accepts that he lost his temper. He has always liked animals and has helped look after family pets. He is upset about the animal in this case,” she said.

However, presiding magistrate, Susan Feary, said custody was the “only option”, despite an early guilty plea.

“It was a sustained attack on a small dog, you used a weapon, and caused a great amount of suffering. You also threw it at your grandmother, which would have increased her considerable distress, and have shown scant remorse,” she said.

Mrs James refused to comment on the sentencing, but has previously said that she would “welcome” her grandson back into her home, once he had received help with his anger problem

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