Man who kicked dog to death avoids jail

Nathan Smith arrives at St Helens Magistrates' Court
Nathan Smith arrives at St Helens Magistrates' Court
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A ST Helens man who wrapped up his pet dog “like a mummy” after viciously beating it to death has been banned from keeping animals.

Nathan Smith admitted inflicting unnecessary suffering on his four-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, Winston, on the day he was due to stand trial.

At a sentencing hearing on Monday, St Helens Magistrates’ Court heard how the 27-year-old repeatedly inflicted blunt force trauma wounds on the muscular 17kg terrier between August 26 and September 23 last year.

Peter Mitchell, prosecuting, told how Smith had even called the RSPCA to report Winston missing AFTER he had beaten the dog to death.

Initially, Smith claimed he had drowned Winston in the bath after the dog had fallen down the stairs into a bucket of bleach.

But his web of lies was exposed by his ex partner, Demi Partington, after she found blood spattered up the walls of his City Road home.

When RSPCA inspectors exhumed Winston’s body from a makeshift grave, a post mortem revealed that the dog had suffered 11 rib fractures and haemorrhaging in the chest wall, eye and liver.

The beatings dished out were so brutal that Winston had also contracted meningtitis, which ultimately led to his death.

RSPCA inspector Claire Fisher described it as a “disturbing case” and told how Smith had repeatedly lied during the course of a four-hour interview.

Stephanie Varle, defending, admitted it was a “highly distressing, emotive and somewhat unpalatable case”.

But she pointed to Smith’s lack of previous convictions, string of recent family bereavements and tough upbringing, and questioned what a short jail term would achieve.

Magistrates handed him a 24-week jail sentence, suspended for two years, a two-year supervision requirement and ordered him to complete 300 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 costs.

They also banned him from keeping animals for life.