Man, 23, jailed for dousing dog in petrol and setting it alight after it 'bit his finger'

Kirkcaldy Sheriff's Court heard how Alastair Graham, from Fife, killed the Staffordshire bull - he was sentenced to nine months in jail

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The Independent Online

A man who set fire to a dog after tying it to a tree and dousing it in petrol has been jailed for nine months.

Alastair Graham, 23, from Fife, killed the Staffordshire bull terrier in late April in a “grotesque act of savagery,” the sheriff said.

The dog, which belonged to his friend, had apparently bit his finger causing Graham to snap.

He initially tried to stab the animal and slit its throat, the BBC reports, but then was caught on CCTV filling up a container with petrol before taking it to Kirkcaldy’s Dunniker Woods and setting it alight.

Graham pleaded guilty to causing the dog unnecessary suffering by causing his death and also admitted a further charge of an attempted knife robbery on 2 May. He was sentenced to 36 months – three years – for his part in the robbery.

Sentencing, the sheriff said: “He went about this in a calculated manner - it wasn't a spur of the moment thing.

“This was a grotesque act of savagery. You will be disqualified from keeping animals for life.

“The sentences will run consecutively - the total will be 45 months.”

The dog, named Bruno, was still alive when he had been set slight, a post-mortem revealed, the Dundee Evening Telegraph said.

Bruno’s owners, Christopher McMahon and Chermaine Letham said that Graham “should be left to rot.”

“If he can do that to a helpless dog then what can he do to a child or elderly person?” Ms Letham said. “Alastair Graham is an evil man.”

Under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, Graham faced a maximum one-year sentence for the killing.

Defending, Larry Flynn, said: “This was a serious offence but he has co-operated with the process throughout.

“He has a vague recollection of doing this but was abusing alcohol at the time.

“His recollection is that he attempted to kill it with a knife but he failed and he went to get the petrol then returned.”