#TheList Joseph Pocklington, born 16/10/1990, of Marshall Street, Darlington DL3 – ‘lost his temper’ and punched his pet dog in the face numerous times before dragging her by the neck
Joseph Pocklington was spotted by a woman in Crown Street, Darlington, who filmed the abuse on her phone before confronting him and taking the dog.
The witness then called the police who later found Pocklington asleep in a nearby church yard.
Alan Davies, prosecuting, said: “At around 4.20pm on Sunday, December 22, a witness was waiting to pick up her daughter on Crown Street in Darlington.
“She noticed the defendant sat on some steps with a black lurcher or greyhound type of dog on a short lead.
“She recorded him grabbing the dog by the neck, dragging it towards him and punching it to the face a number of times.
“The witness and her daughter challenged him and took the dog, he became upset by this and left. The witness then contacted the police who found him sleeping in a church yard.
“He was arrested and told police ‘yeah, I did give my dog a few slaps,’ he was then shown footage from the incident and became upset, saying he could not remember assaulting the dog and could only remember getting angry because the dog was trying to run into the traffic.”
Pocklington pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Stephen Andrews, mitigating, said his client’s behaviour was out of character and he was very upset having watched the footage of the incident.
He said: “You have heard that when he was interviewed he became very upset and that’s because he was appalled by what he seen.
“You have a gentleman here who would describe himself as a dog lover. He has kept dogs for many years without any issues whatsoever, he looked after them and he protected them.
“How then does he end up before you for an offence of this type? He has over a period of time abused alcohol and has essentially become alcohol dependant.
“He has no recollection of the incident, but he tells me he can remember his feet becoming tangled with the dog lead and becoming angry.
“You have heard that police found him asleep in a public area a short time after, and that is because he was so intoxicated. He is incredibly remorseful.”
Sentencing: 12-month community order; total of £180 in costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for two years (expires August 2022).