A DAD kicked his girlfriend’s beloved dog to death with his heavy Timberland boots.
Vincent Grant was left alone in his home with Cavalier King Charles spaniel Tilly for a matter of minutes, when her owner Helen Woodland left to give a friend a lift.
When she returned, Miss Woodland heard the sound of yelping and was met with the devastating sight of her five-year-old dog cowering and limping.
Grant claimed the pet – known for being docile and friendly – had bitten him.
Tilly died that evening, with a post-mortem examination showing she had five broken ribs and a punctured lung
Father-of-two Grant first told police he had gone to stroke her to apologise for stepping on her paw by accident, but hit out with the back of his hand or fist out when she bit him.
When he was quizzed again, the plant driver admitted he kicked Tilly two or three times while wearing his Timberland boots, having earlier claimed he had slippers on.
Grant, of Frank Street, Belmont, Durham, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal by repeatedly kicking Tilly on February 20.
The 42-year-old was banned from keeping animals for five years, given a 12-month community order with supervision, 200 hours of unpaid work, told to pay compensation of £1,483 and £85 court costs.
The sentence has already attracted criticism from supporters, who have posted messages on a Justice for Tilly page on internet website Facebook, branding it “disgraceful.”
Clare Irving, prosecuting at Consett Magistrates’ Court, said Miss Woodland had been left devastated, seeking treatment for depression.
In a statement, the project support worker, who was in court to see Grant sentenced, said: “I can’t get my head around what has happened.
“I loved her as if she was my child. I have hatred for this man. I am totally devastated.”
Tony Jackson, mitigating, said Grant had drunk four or five pints on the day of the incident.