Beat dog to death with baton after daughter bitten

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A man who beat a dog to death with a wooden baton has been ordered to complete a community service order.

William John Ireland, of Ferguson Street, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal on September 1, 2011.

Derry Magistrates Court heard police initially received a report that a child who had been taunting a Jack Russell Terrier had been bitten on the hand.

They then received a further report that after hearing his daughter had been bitten, 32-year-old Ireland entered the garden armed with a four foot wooden baton and repeatedly struck the chained dog with it.

The court heard that the dog had to be humanely destroyed as a result of the injuries it sustained during the attack.

Ireland told police during interview that he “flipped” when he heard his daughter had been bitten and admitted he beat the dog.

Defence counsel Stephen Chapman said Ireland knows that most people wound find his behaviour “disgraceful”.

He said that his client believed his daughter had been “mauled” by the dog and didn’t check the extent of his daughter’s injuries before attacking the dog.

Mr Chapman said Ireland “accepts that was wrong”.

Ordering Ireland to complete 240 hours community service, Deputy District Judge Peter King said he was “struggling to find a reason not to send you to prison”.

He said the “circumstances surrounding the killing of this dog are somewhat exceptional. I accept that as a father the red mist came down, but that does not justify the level of violence meted out”.