A BRICKLAYER who left his ex-girlfriend's six-month-old puppy 'lifeless' with a fractured skull and hip after booting it in a fit of rage has dodged jail.
Andrew Cook, 28 from Waterlooville, got a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months at Portsmouth Magistrates Court yesterday after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal last month.
The court heard Cook kicked his former partner Paige Bowden's Staffordshire bull terrier, Bronson, after returning to his Grebe Close home on November 9, 2018 to find it had excreted and urinated inside.
The defenceless animal was struck so hard it was left unable to lift its head, suffering with at least two broken bones, severe bruising around its left eye and in its mouth, a brain injury and internal bleeding.
When Ms Bowden came home and questioned Cook about the injuries, he said Bronson was 'just sulking' after being hurt by another dog owner on a walk.
Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Sarah Huck said Cook's temper flared and he later threatened to stamp on the dog's head to 'finish him off so there was no vets' bills to pay'.
An estimated £5,000 has so far been spent on treating the puppy after it was assessed by staff at Vets 4 Pets, Sanctuary Vets and the RSPCA-owned Stubbington Ark in Fareham.
It is now recovering back in the care of Ms Bowden, who dumped Cook - the father of her young son - after the dog attack.
Mitigating, lawyer Howard Barrington-Clark said Cook 'couldn't cope' when he found the mess and kicked out in anger as if the puppy was an 'inanimate object', like a 'door'.
'We have probably all done it, or come perilously close to doing it,' he said.
'It's as if that puppy, for a split-second, turned into an inanimate object.
'The defendant wasn't thinking straight and accepts it was completely wrong - he accepts complete guilt.'
He said Cook's previous criminal record was a 'lousy' one but contained no similar incidents.
Cook has paid at least £1,500 toward the puppy's treatment and vowed, before the court, to pay off the remaining costs.
After Cook was sentenced by bench chairman Hilary Chadwick, RSPCA inspector Charlotte Coggins said 'justice has been done' - but the case was among the 'worst the group has seen in a long time'.
'The injuries are absolutely awful,' she said.
'Thankfully [the dog] is recovering absolutely fine and he is back with his owner where, undoubtedly, he will be getting all the love he needs.'
Cook, who owns A Cook Brickwork Specialist Limited in Waterlooville, has been banned from keeping, looking after or arranging transport for any animals for life.
He must now attend 21 sessions geared at reducing violent behaviour, complete 20 hours of rehabilitation activities and do 100 hours of unpaid work.
He will pay £400 to the RSPCA and a £115 victim surcharge.