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Man who battered dog with a shovel jailed after appearing at Highland court

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

A man has been jailed for eight months after battering a dog over the head with a shovel and then denying his guilt.

Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald told William Allan (52) that he had perpetrated a "brutal and violent" attack.

She also criticised Allan, of Benula Road, Inverness, for "lying" about the incident and showing a lack of remorse.

Allan was found guilty at Inverness Sheriff Court of a contravention of the Animal Health and Welfare Act after a trial last month.

Sentence had been deferred for a background report.

He was convicted of causing the dog unnecessary suffering by repeatedly striking it on the head and mouth with a shovel or similar instrument at a different property in Inverness on January 30, 2020.

After reading the report by a social worker today, Sheriff Macdonald noted that Allan "still denies what he was found guilty of doing."

The trial had heard that Allan claimed the dog had followed him out the door, which had then slammed shut on its head.

Allan admitted previous convictions and Sheriff Macdonald told him: "You have a history of violent behaviour.

"You were found guilty of beating the dog repeatedly for a sustained period with a weapon.

"There were injuries – the dog's teeth were broken and blood was splattered all over the walls. You then went on to lie about it.

"You have shown a lack of remorse and you still deny the incident.

"It was an abhorrent act and has had a lasting effect on those who witnessed it.

"The only reason I am not jailing you for 12 months is that the dog has made a physical recovery."

Defence solicitor Marc Dickson conceded that it was "a stark choice" for the court between custody or unpaid work.

He said his client was on medication for anxiety and his condition may have contributed to "spontaneous acts".

He added: "He has a historical record but there have been lengthy periods when he has stayed out of trouble."

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