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Suspended prison term for north Kent man who hit and kicked his dog

PUBLISHED: 09:04 08 December 2015 | UPDATED: 09:13 08 December 2015

Magistrates court

Magistrates court

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Swanscombe man disqualified from keeping animals for five years by court

A 42-year-old man from north Kent has been disqualified from keeping animals for five years and given a suspended prison sentence after he was seen by several witnesses hitting and kicking his dog.

Gary Stockford, aged 42, of Keary Road, Swanscombe, was sentenced at Medway Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday) after previously pleading guilty in October to an offence of failing to protect his dog, a Staffordshire bull terrier called Benny.

As well as the animal ban, he was given a 12-week custodial sentence, suspended for 24 months, and ordered to pay victim surcharge of £80, vet fees of £763.55 and £400 prosecution costs.

Various witnesses called police after they saw Stockford attack his dog near to the Orchard Theatre in Dartford town centre in July. They told officers they had seen the defendant be violent towards Benny by kicking and hitting him.

RSPCA inspector Vikki Dawe said: “Witnesses saw Benny being repeatedly hit and kicked, in vicious bursts, over a period of about 45 minutes.

“They said the poor dog kept coming back to the defendant when he was called, only to be attacked all over again. They were so distressed by what they saw they called us.

“It is totally unacceptable to be violent in this way towards an animal. Benny showed clear signs of submission and distress.

“Thanks also must go to the witnesses who were brave enough to agree to give evidence so Benny’s owner could be prosecuted.”

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