Animal lover 'took law into his own hands' after believing husky dog had been set on fire in Sunderland

A Sunderland animal lover found himself in the doghouse with police when he took the law into his own hands to try rescue a husky he believed was being abused.

Monday, 25th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 25th November 2019, 10:04 am

Stephen Alderson, 49, got wind of where the alleged mistreatment was taking place and visited the owner to urge them to hand over the pooch.

But when the owner refused, Alderson lost his temper and smashed two windows, causing £500 of damage, a court was told.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard Alderson, of Kemble Square, was involved with husky groups and believed the dog had been set on fire.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court in South Shields.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said Alderson heard through social media the alleged abuse was taking place at a property in Sunderland - and paid the owner a visit.

He said: “This is not the most usual type of criminal damage. There’s no dispute about what happened – the windows were damaged.

“The reasoning behind it comes from Mr Alderson himself. He got in touch with the guy. He lost his loaf, took matters into his own hands and put the windows out.”

Mr Anderson said Alderson, who works as a driller, was known to the courts, having 28 convictions from 50 offences.

Susan Grey, defending, said: “Mr Alderson behaved in a manner that was out of character and it was because of his horror at what happened to this dog.

“He received a call about a husky that he thought had details that it had been set on fire. He found the owner’s details and tried to get them to hand over the husky.

“He would like to put this matter behind him. In some ways he doesn’t regret getting involved but he shouldn’t have taken the law into his own hands. He apologises to the court.”

Mohammed Ismail, chairman of the bench, told Alderson: “We’ve listened to why it happened, but you’re not allowed to take the law into your own hands.”

The court heard the RSPCA had become involved over the allegation of animal cruelty, but nodetails were given.

Alderson, who admitted a charge of criminal damage, was fined £600, ordered to pay £500 compensation, £85 courts costs and a £60 victim surcharge.