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Man who strangled dog banned from owning animals

A man who strangled a dog to death with its lead because his sister did not want it any more was banned from ever owning an animal, the RSPCA said today

Stephan Graham Bullock, 23, pleaded guilty at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court in Hampshire to strangling the dog, called Alfie Moon after the EastEnders character.

The six-year-old German shepherd-lurcher cross was found half buried in a wooded area with a lead wrapped tightly around the neck, the court heard.

Veterinary evidence and a post-mortem examination showed the dog had been asphyxiated by the lead and would have suffered considerably.

The dog was microchipped and had been a rescue dog rehomed by the RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre in Surrey some time before.

The original adopter had passed Alfie on and eventually he came to be looked after by Bullock's sister.

But she was unable to cope with the dog so she asked Bullock, who was living with her at the time, to take him.

The court heard Bullock, from Basingstoke, walked the dog to a vet for help and he was advised to call the RSPCA.

He then walked to a wooded area and he strangled the dog using the lead. Bullock admitted it took two or three minutes of the dog whimpering before the animal went limp and died.

Bullock pleaded guilty on September 7 to failing to protect Alfie from pain, injury and suffering in contravention of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 He was given a lifetime disqualification from owning or keeping all animals and a 12-month supervision order. He was also ordered to carry out 50 hours of unpaid community work and to pay RSPCA costs of £400.

Bullock, of Walnut Way, has been accepted into the Army and his defence asked the court not to give him a custodial sentence as he would miss his basic training.

RSPCA inspector Jan Edwards said: "This case is particularly distressing as the dog should have been placed back into RSPCA care under the terms of adoption, rather than being passed on to people who could not care for him.

"In Alfie's last moments he would have suffered pain and extreme distress whilst being strangled by Bullock - a brutal and calculated act which fills me with sadness, disbelief and horror."