#TheList Anthony Bruce, born 15/09/1996, most recently of Heddon Avenue, Hazlerigg, Newcastle upon Tyne NE13 7DA – tried to drown an Old English Sheepdog puppy named Benji before killing him by feeding him toilet paper
Bruce, who also uses the names Warren Michael Bell and Elliot William Gleave and is originally from Billingham, Co Durham, tried to drown Benji because he didn’t like the attention the dog was getting from his girlfriend, Lauren Brattle.
Bruce pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Denise Jackman, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said Benji was forcibly submerged in water and had suffered. The puppy was also allowed to eat toilet paper.
Ms Jackman said the RSPCA had been contacted by a social worker, who had concerns for Benji and another dog. She had been told that Benji had died on April 26, 2015, while having surgery to remove toilet tissue in his stomach.
It was said that another dog in the house had bitten Benji in his ear, causing it to bleed. Bruce tried to remove the blood and decided to bathe him.
He then went on to submerge the pet’s head in the water until he was unconscious. Benji survived the ordeal but later died.
Bruce said he was sorry and admitted he had gone too far. He also admitted encouraging the pet to eat toilet paper on three separate occasions, knowing the dog was unable to digest the material.
Benji, who was around five-months-old, had previously had surgery to remove paper from his stomach.
Ms Jackman added: “Mr Bruce said his partner gave Benji more attention than she gave him.
“When he was giving him a bath, he became agitated and held the dog’s head under the water until he was unconscious. He said he was jealous of his partner’s contact with the dog.
“He also allowed Benji to eat a large quantity of unpalatable dry tissue under coercion. Mr Bruce was well aware of the consequences of such coercion.
“This suffering was unnecessary and avoidable.”
As at September 2018 Bruce and Benji’s owner Lauren Brattle are very much together and have gone on to have children. In September 2017 Brattle was named on the BBC website as being involved in Facebook raffle scams.
16 weeks in a young offenders’ institute. Banned from owning animals for life.