A man from Wigan has been banned from keeping animals for five years after his “sustained physical attack” on his pet dog was captured on a Ring doorbell, prompting prosecution on animal welfare charges.
Michael Hilton was seen kicking, punching and stomping on his dog, Ben, during an incident that took place in Leigh, Wigan, on 6 December last year. The footage, which showed Ben dropping on the ground and trying to pull away during the attack, was passed to the RSPCA which launched an investigation.
“It was clear that the feet and hands made significant contact with the dog”
RSPCA inspector Vicki Brooks said, “I viewed the footage and saw a person enter the field of view from the left with a large light coloured dog that appeared to be on a lead held by that person and wearing a dark coloured muzzle. I saw the person forcefully kick, punch and stamp on the dog, striking the animal a total of 12 times with a foot and two times with a hand.”
She added, “The dog could be seen trying to back away from the person. It was clear that the feet and hands made significant contact with the dog. The name and address provided for the person seen assaulting the dog in the footage was Michael Hilton.”
The video can be viewed below – be mindful, as its content may be upsetting.
The vet who examined the footage and gave evidence in the case said, “Ben was caused to suffer as a consequence of physical abuse. Suffering will have been experienced by this animal via mechanisms of fear and distress for a period of at least several minutes, possibly longer and pain for a period of several hours, possibly longer.
“In my opinion, the animal involved in this case has been caused to suffer.”
Hilton pled guilty to one offence contrary to the Animal Welfare Act at a hearing on 13 April, and was sentenced on 13 July. He banned from keeping animals for five years, as well as being given a 12 month community order, 150 hours of unpaid work, and being ordered to pay £400 in costs.
“Ben could neither escape nor defend himself from this assault and we’re grateful to the person that alerted us”
Speaking after the conclusion of the case, inspector Brooks said: “Mr Hilton’s actions towards his pet were totally unnecessary and unacceptable. Ben could neither escape nor defend himself from this assault and we’re grateful to the person that alerted us and enabled Mr Hilton to be held accountable for his actions”.
Ben is in the care of the RSPCA, and following the conclusion of the case the charity will now be able to rehome him.