Demand a Custodial Sentence for those Guilty of Animal Cruelty Offences in Northern Ireland

  • by: Anonymous
  • target: Director of Public Prosecutions Northern Ireland - Barra McGrory QC

The following information is taken directly from BBC News: 

Four men from east Belfast have been given suspended prison sentences for animal cruelty offences.

Police said a custodial sentence would have provided a greater deterrent.

The judge at Belfast Crown Court sentenced the men to six months in jail, but suspended the prison term for two years.

Police said they were "very disappointed at the outcome" of the trial.

PSNI Det Insp Pete Mullan said: "We fully respect the decision of the court but are disappointed nonetheless.

"This type of crime can receive a custodial sentence of up to two years and, given the horrific nature of this particular incident, we would have envisaged a sentence that would have acted as a greater deterrent."

All four men, who were remanded in custody last week after details of their offending was opened to the court, were also banned from keeping, dealing in or transporting animals for a 10-year period.

Animal trap

They each admitted causing unnecessary suffering to animals, namely four terrier pups, between 1 November 2011 and 28 November 2011.

Dogs are blooded in this way in order to train them to fight other animals in blood sports including badgers, foxes and deer”

Trial judge

They also admitted ownership of items in connection with an animal fight on 27 November 2011.

The items included a battery pack, hand-held lamps, a dog harness and an animal trap.

The third count to which they pleaded guilty was keeping or training four bull lurcher-type dogs in connection with an animal fight between 10 July 2011 and 28 November 2011.

One man also pleaded guilty to a charge of keeping or training an animal for use in connection with a dog fight.


The judge said that on 20 October 2011, police searched one man's home on an unrelated matter and during the search, they seized a mobile phone that contained three videos, including one that was recorded in August of that year showing four dogs killing a cat.

The judge said it was her understanding that "dogs are blooded in this way in order to train them to fight other animals in blood sports including badgers, foxes and deer".

Officers then searched the family home and at the rear of the property, they found several "well constructed kennels" in the yard.

Five adult bull lurcher dogs, which displayed injuries consistent with animal fights, were seized, while four bull terrier puppies were discovered under a heat lamp in a shed.

The puppies, who were around three weeks old, were found without a nursing mother present and with their tails docked.

The judge told the court that the four puppies seized from the shed had all been re-homed at the direction of the USPCA.

She also ordered that three of the adults dogs be destroyed by the USPCA.


MP for East Belfast Naomi Long commented;

"Really disappointed that the sentences handed down in these animal cruelty cases were suspended. If such wanton and premeditated cruelty doesn't warrant a custodial sentence, it's hard to imagine what would. Am raising this with Director of Public Prosecutions tomorrow".

Update #33 years ago
I have downloaded the petition and sent it to both Barra McGrory QC, Director Public Prosecution Service, Northern Ireland & John Larkin QC, The Attorney General for Northern Ireland.

Update #23 years ago
Many thanks to you all for the signatures and I write to inform you that I plan to download and submit them at the end of this week.
Update #13 years ago
Please see the following article which demonstrates the complete lack of remorse the perpetrator's displayed!
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