Man admits to kicking terrified dog in the air ‘after it bit him’
A man has admitted kicking a terrified dog up into the air in the middle of a busy street.
Gavin Doolan attacked the animal in a sickening incident filmed by a passer-by near a Tesco supermarket in Park Road, Liverpool.
In the video, Doolan, 57, can be seen kicking the brown and white Corgie-Jack Russell cross in its face as he walks it on a lead.
The animal was lifted up in the air by the force of his kick, which was witnessed by another shocked passer-by, who confronted Doolan.
The dog appeared to flinch as Doolan then responded angrily to concerned members of the public who tried to intervene to protect the animal on August 16.
Doolan, of Aigburth, Liverpool, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause alarm or distress.
Doolan was accompanied at Liverpool magistrates by his brother Mark, the owner of the dog.
Sohail Nazar, prosecuting, said Doolan admitted kicking the dog when arrested by police, adding: ‘He said he kicked the dog because it bit him.
He told the court Doolan had 31 previous convictions for unrelated offences and was last convicted in March for theft and battery.
Doolan was handed a 12-month community order and a home curfew on that occasion, meaning he was in breach of the order at the time of this incident.
Mr Nazar submitted it was a case of ‘higher culpability’, adding: ‘It was a deliberate attempt to cause suffering.’
However, he said there was no evidence of permanent harm caused to the animal, so it fell within the category of ‘lesser harm’.
Claire Fletcher, defending Doolan, said: ‘This was a single impulsive incident. It was as a result of the dog biting the complainant on his finger, following which he has kicked out at the dog.’
However, she later told the court Doolan had been bitten by the dog while travelling on a bus and did not attack the animal until after he had got off the vehicle.
Ms Fletcher said her client’s brother had problems with the dog because of its aggression and Doolan took the dog to give him some ‘breathing space’.
Doolan told the court he had mental health issues and had been unwell, so had not seen the probation service since August or completed a ‘thinking skills’ course.
Ms Fletcher requested further information from the probation service and an adjournment for a pre-sentence report, which was granted by magistrates.
They remanded Doolan on unconditional bail, until his sentencing on January 22 next year.
The dog was rescued after the attack by local shopkeeper Michael Lamb.
After seeing the footage and recognising Doolan, the 42-year-old confronted him and convinced him to hand over the animal.
Mr Lamb then took the dog back to his shop and affectionately named him ‘Sconehead’.
But the RSPCA who checked over the pooch said Mr Lamb couldn’t keep Sconehead as he had another dog, Piper, at his home.
Sconehead was instead found another home and is said to be doing well.
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