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Man jailed after beating his dog

By Barnsley Chronicle Reporter Monday 16th June 2014

A MAN who punched and kicked his pet dog so hard it broke her legs and fractured her skull and spine has been jailed.

Joseph Christopher Eames, 20, was living at Poplar Avenue, Goldthorpe, at the time he carried out the attacks on ten-month-old terrier called Bella.

The prosecution was brought by the RSPCA and at an earlier hearing at Barnsley Magistrates' Court Eames admitted inflicting multiple blunt force trauma and physical abuse.

The dog suffered a broken front leg, a broken back leg, fractured ribs and fractures to the skull and spinal vertebrae while in Eames's care between July 31 and October 22 last year.

James Gray, defending, reminded the court of Eames's early guilty plea, his young age, epilepsy and having no previous involvement with the criminal justice system. He asked that if a custodial sentence was to be given, for it to be suspended.

However, despite District Judge John Foster giving Eames, now of Clayfield Road, Mexborough, credit for his guilty plea, he felt the matter was so serious he should receive an immediate custodial sentence of 12 weeks and be disqualified Eames from keeping animals 'without limit of time'.

After the case, RSPCA inspector Jennie Ronksley, said it was the worst cases of cruelty she had dealt with in her career.

She said: "The poor young dog sustained a number of deliberate and horrific injuries over a period of months and was in a great amount of pain and suffered at the hands of Mr Eames.

"The RSPCA always aims for disqualification in such cases to protect any animals in the future. In this instance we are happy the sentence fits Eames's crimes."

She said the abuse came to light when a vet at the PDSA raised the alarm as the dog had been taken to the PDSA over a number of months and the vet felt the injuries were not consistent with and accident and more consistent with 'purposeful blunt force trauma'.

Jennie said Bella has since been rehomed and is like 'a completely different dog'.