#TheList David James Nellist, born 17/02/1977, of 31 Brunswick Square, Penrith CA11 7LS – caught on CCTV punching and kicking a cowering dog before throwing her against a wall
Drunk David Nellist flew into a rage with black Labrador/Spaniel crossbreed Coco and was captured ‘relentlessly pursuing, punching, kicking and picking up by the throat and throwing’ her.
Coco’s howls of pain woke a neighbour who traced the noise to Nellist’s nearby restaurant and called the police.
Nellist admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Coco by subjecting her to unnecessary physical violence.
The court was told the incident took place early on Monday, January 19, 2015, at the restaurant Nellist then co-owned in Keswick.
RSPCA inspector Martyn Fletcher said: “A neighbour was awakened in the middle of the night by a noise that she described as ‘an animal in extreme pain or distress.
“It wasn’t a bark but a scream. It sounded like it was being tortured.
“She told us the sound continued intermittently, causing her to be so concerned that she actually got up, left her home and followed the noise to the restaurant. This was 3.30am.”
CCTV footage from several interior cameras showed Nellist beating the dog.
Over a period of about 15 minutes he’s seen interacting with her, she’s jumping up at him looking like she wants to play, then he punches her.
RSPCA inspector Fletcher said: “There is no audio recorded on it, but it’s horrible to watch.
“He’s seen pursuing her relentlessly as she moves from room to room, clearly frightened and trying to get away from him.
“He repeatedly punches her, kicks her and on two occasions picks her up by the throat and throws her across the room onto the ground.
“It’s not difficult to imagine what might have happened had it not been for the actions of the neighbour.”
Police were called to the restaurant but left after finding no obvious injuries to the animal.
The RSPCA was called and after viewing the footage, Coco was seized by police on veterinary advice and placed in RSPCA care.
On examination, the vet found no injuries but prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs based on what she had seen on the footage.
In mitigation, Workington Magistrates court heard that Nellist was drunk at the time and was appalled by his actions.
A police spokeswoman said the incident occurred on the final day that Nellist worked in the restaurant, and he has since sold all his shares.
Coco has been rehomed.
RSPCA inspector Fletcher added: “I’ve seen her since and she’s like a different dog. She’s got a fantastic owner who has another dog too, and they’ve become great friends. She’s a really cheeky girl.”
Sentencing: two months in prison, suspended for 18 months; ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and pay court costs of £1,580. Five-year ban on keeping animals (expired April 2020).