#TheList Daniel McPhillips, born 01/11/1993, of 42 Beech Crescent, Denny FK6 6LL (alternative address 50A Broad Street, Denny FK6 6DY)- strangled a King Charles spaniel, bound his head, neck, throat and legs with his lead and dumped him in the canal to drown
Daniel McPhillips was given £20 to deliver a spaniel named Alfie to a vet to be rehomed. Instead, in an act of shocking callousness, McPhillips strangled Alfie and dumped his body in the Forth & Clyde Canal with his lead wrapped around his legs.
The heroin addict then lied to the dog’s original owner, Tammy-Lynn Burgoyne, stating by text he had taken the dog to the vet so he could be re-homed. Ms Burgoyne later discovered the truth after Alfie’s body was discovered in the canal and reported the matter to the Scottish SPCA.
McPhillips appeared from custody at Falkirk Sheriff Court having been arrested for his non-appearance on an earlier date. He denied asphyxiating the dog and dumping him in the canal in September 2018.
A Scottish SPCA investigator told the court that McPhillips had avoided her telephone calls and appeared reluctant to meet with her.
An associate of McPhillips then gave evidence, stating McPhillips had actually admitted to him he had killed the dog, telling him “I didn’t ken what else to do with it.”
Giving evidence himself, McPhillips stated Alfie had escaped while he was walking with him in the woods and he could not get him back. He said he texted Ms Burgoyne and lied, telling her he had safely delivered the animal to the vets.
After considering all the evidence, Sheriff Christopher Shead found McPhillips guilty and told him a prison sentence was a real possibility.
When McPhillips re-appeared in court for sentencing, his solicitor, Mark Fallon said his client now “regrets the harm he caused”.
Mr Fallon added: “He is addicted to crack cocaine, and the offence was committed having taken heroin and Valium.”
Sheriff Christopher Shead said it was a “grave contravention” of animal cruelty laws.
Imposing the six-month jail term he added: “The repugnant nature of this offence is such that a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal.”
McPhillips showed no emotion as he was led to the cells.
Commenting on the case, a Scottish SPCA undercover SIU officer said: “This is a truly shocking case of animal cruelty. Rather than taking Alfie to the vet, McPhillips instead decided to kill him and pocket the cash.”
“Numerous people contacted our animal helpline to identify McPhillips as the perpetrator when Alfie was discovered in October 2018 and two witnesses told us he’d openly admitted to the crime.
“McPhillips ignored our repeated attempts to engage with him and he failed to turn up for two trial dates, which meant warrants were issued for his arrest.”
The SIU officer added: “It is hard to comprehend how tragic Alfie’s death was. As well as the trauma to his neck, he also had injuries to his front legs where he’d been trying to escape the bindings. Alfie was caused unimaginable unnecessary suffering due to the actions of McPhillips.”
Despite his conviction for a sickening act of cruelty towards a sweet, trusting dog, McPhillips’ hapless girlfriend Evie Marie Mackenzie appears to be standing by him.
Sentencing: six months in jail. Banned from owning or keeping animals for five years.