Man jailed for beating neighbour's noisy dog to death
The inconsiderate owner should be jailed too. A constantly-barking dog is extemely irritating, which is bound to induce hostility from neighbours in some form. If she had trained the dog, it would still be alive
A man has been jailed for beating his neighbour's pet dog to death near Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide.
Steven John Leffanue, 57, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of ill-treating an animal to cause death or serious harm, two counts of unlawfully being on premises and one count of dishonestly taking property without consent.
His lawyer previously told the court Leffanue had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and that his auditory hypersensitivity had been triggered by the dog barking over a period of 20 months.
Appearing via video link from the Christies Beach Magistrates Court, Magistrate Lynette Duncan sentenced Leffanue to 18 months in prison with a non-parole period of seven months for the crimes. He was also forbidden from having animals in future.
She said given the gravity of the offences and the need for community protection and safety, a prison term was justified. In sentencing, she said Pup the dog had died a violent death and that it was difficult to envisage a more serious example of animal cruelty.
"The objective circumstances of these offences are at the highest end of the scale for offences of their kind," she said.
"The penalty imposed must send a clear and strong message to you and others that ill-treatment causing serious harm or death to animals will not be tolerated and will result in significant penalties."
The vet who performed a necropsy on Pup previously said the dog had suffered "unusually severe trauma".
"The RSPCA vet who had a part in reviewing the necropsy said that they were 'utterly appalled by the pain this dog would have endured before its death,'" a police prosecutor told the court in June.
The prosecutor quoted the vet as saying that it was "one of the worst" instances of abuse they had come across.
Outside court, Pup's owner, Amie Sherwin, said she was happy that justice had been served.