#TheList David Michael O’Toole, born c. 1986, of Birkett Rd, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead CH42 4PR – set his dog on his girlfriend’s pet tortoise and sent her videos of the attack
O’Toole could be heard shouting “go on, get him,” over and over again as the dog “bit chunks” from the helpless tortoise’s shell.
The owner of the tortoise, Lucy McDonald, was forced to give her pet to a rescue centre after being unable to afford to pay for treatment needed as a result of the attack.
O’Toole pleaded guilty at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court today to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and to sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing communication.
Hannah Griffiths, prosecuting, told the court: “The victim had been at a family member’s house after a weekend away with the defendant, who is now her former partner.
“While at her family member’s address she received two videos of the defendant goading his dog into going for the defendant’s pet tortoise, which was upside down. In the background he could be heard saying ‘go on, get him’, over and over again.”
The court heard the incident was reported to the police who attended O’Toole’s address. Officers found the tortoise bleeding, and noticed it had chunks of shell missing, and arrested the defendant for animal cruelty.
Ms Griffiths said: “The complainant, in her statement, said she thought the defendant would kill the tortoise and described being extremely scared and upset.”