Prosecutions: Alexander A McGhee, aged 44, of Wellesley Road, Methil, Leven, Fife KY8 3PF – charged with beating a lurcher-type dog named Murphy to death
Case adjourned until October 2018.
McGhee appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court where he denied causing unnecessary suffering to Murphy, who died on July 8, 2017.
He is charged with causing severe blunt force trauma injuries to the lurcher-type canine who was later found in the boot of McGhee’s car by police.
McGhee claims the animal bolted from his home before he found him dead at the side of the road a short time later.
The court heard how the dog suffered numerous injuries on his sides, lower back, abdomen and neck, as well as the brain bleed which caused him to die.
Veterinary pathologist Dr Bryn Tennant said he believed Murphy had sustained the injuries from being “hit, kicked or shaken with considerable force”.
Dr Tennant said: “The outcome of the post mortem was that this dog had been subjected to multiple traumatic incidents.
“The injuries were spread across the body and the cause of death was the bleeding on the brain.
“The constellation of injuries, in my opinion, were not consistent with a road traffic accident.
“There is a very, very remote possibility that this dog was struck by a vehicle but from what I saw, I do not believe that happened, on the basis of my examination.
“The bleeding around the brain is the same as boxers get when they haemorrhage.”
He said that he would have expected to see damage to the skin and paws or crush injuries if the animal had been struck by a vehicle.
Dr Tennant added he could not determine exactly what had caused the blunt force trauma injuries.
The court also heard from PC Chloe Murray who was called to McGhee’s home on Wellesley Road after reports of concern for the welfare of animals at the property.
He told them he was the owner of two dogs but “one had escaped from the property during the night and he had found it dead at the side of the road”.
In his statement, he told the officer he had twice gone out looking for the missing dog and had put its body in the boot of his car when he found him lying next to Swan Brae.
PC Chloe Murray said she noticed injuries on the owner’s right hand and that he “appeared to be trying to conceal it with his sleeve”.
She said: “He told me that he had injured it punching a wall in frustration after the dog had escaped.
“There was a v-shaped cut on the middle knuckle and reddening which extended back up his hand towards his wrist.”
Defence solicitor Scott McKenzie told the court his client had not been attempting to hide his hand but was wearing “quite a baggy jumper” and had in fact been pushing the sleeves up.
He added that his client had offered to show investigating officers where he had found the dog and was “upset” over the loss of his pet.
The trial, in front of Sheriff Alistair Thornton, was adjourned until October 2018.