Alcoholic spared jail after 'sickening' attack on dog


Neil Bellis

AN ALCOHOLIC kicked and punched a friend’s dog in a “sickening” attack before throwing it against a wall, a court heard.
Lee Wright, 36, of Nicholas Street, Chester, punched and kicked a friend’s brown Staffordshire bull terrier about 50 times in a five-minute attack after it “nipped” him on the finger when he was drinking with two other friends near the Roman Gardens.
CCTV shown to West Cheshire Magistrates Court showed Wright going to give something which was in his hands to the dog which then nipped him on the finger.
Wright then tried to slap the dog twice and kick it but it evaded him and ran behind a bench on which two of his friends were sitting.
Wright then held the dog down while he kicked and punched it repeatedly before sitting on the bench to inspect his finger.
Wright then grabbed the dog again - this time it had crept underneath the bench - and he punched it a number of times before he dragged it from underneath the bench and threw it against a wall before trying to kick it again.
The CCTV then showed Wright’s two friends remonstrating with someone off screen and the police arriving shortly afterwards to arrest Wright.
Carolyn Viviani, prosecuting, told the court Wright had a number of previous convictions for theft and drug offences but had not committed any crime in the last three years.
Ms Viviani told the court the dog didn’t have any injuries as a result of the attack and was currently in police custody and will be re-homed.
District Judge Michael Abelson, called the CCTV footage “shocking and terrible” and said the whole event was “sickening”.
Adam Antoszkiw, defending, said Wright had a “chequered history” but had managed to keep himself out of trouble for a number of years after overcoming a drug addiction.
Mr Antoszkiw said that since the incident Wright had realised he was struggling to control his drinking and had been drunk at the time of the incident.
He said that since his arrest he has managed to find accommodation and has been deemed eligible for an alcohol treatment requirement programme.
Wright also spoke to the court and said he managed to beat his addictions by going “cold turkey” three years ago. He said his crime was “shocking” and blamed alcohol for his behaviour.
He said: “Until recently I didn’t think I was an alcoholic. Since this has happened it has really brought it home. The last 12 months have been far from alright and I’m back on that slippery slope.”
In sentencing, Judge Abelson, said he was giving Wright his “last chance”. He said: “This offence has made you realise how far you have sunk.
“You behaved appallingly towards that animal. You were clearly drunk and behaving in a wholly irresponsible manner.
“A prison sentence, however, would achieve nothing. You would lose your accommodation and become a further drain on society. You have shown clear shame for this behaviour and I’m going to give you one last chance.”
Judge Abelson gave Wright a four month jail term, suspended for two years. He also gave him a one year supervision order with a six month alcohol treatment requirement.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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