Man stabbed neighbour's dog with kitchen knife

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The Independent Online

A company director used the "largest knife he could find" to stab his next-door neighbours' Alsatian to death after it attacked his pet Labrador, a court heard yesterday.

Mark Deeley, 49, who claims he was acting with reasonable force in defence of his dog Bertie, was in the garden of his large detached house on the outskirts of Coventry when the two animals began fighting at around 7am on 26 November last year.

It was alleged he was calling out the name of the German shepherd, Max, which appeared to have crawled under a hedge separating the properties prior to the incident. The dog was stabbed in the heart and died instantly.

At Coventry magistrates' court, Finuala Sheridan, for the prosecution, said five-year-old Max belonged to Mr Deeley's neighbours, Susan Kaur and Tarlo Singh, her brother.

Miss Sheridan, who said there was "something of a history" between the neighbours, told the court: "What follows is the subject of a factual dispute but it seems that, for whatever reason, Max attacked the golden Labrador.

"Mr Deeley says that at that point he left the two dogs, went through his house and then had to go upstairs in order to reach the kitchen area, where he picked the largest knife that he could find. Mr Deeley picked up the knife and returned to the dogs who he would say were still fighting, and then, he says in order to protect Bertie, he stabbed Max once."

Both dogs were then taken away to be examined by a vet and the defendant's pet, then aged 12, was found to have bruising and superficial lacerations to its throat.

Mr Deeley denies criminal damage. He could be fined £5,000 or jailed for up to six months if convicted. The case continues.