A man from Bishop Auckland has been disqualified from keeping dogs for five years after hitting his then partner’s Staffordshire bull terrier on the head repeatedly with a hammer.


Lee Andrew Johnson (D.O.B 26.7.78) of Weeds, Westgate was sentenced at Peterlee Magistrates Court on Tuesday (14 February).Alfie © RSPCA


At a trial earlier this month, he was convicted of, on or about 30 January 2016, causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, called ‘Alfie’, by beating and kicking him.


RSPCA inspector Emma Stainthorpe said: “After a row with his then partner, Johnson went into the kitchen where he was heard to shout and swear at one of her three dogs.


“She heard one of them barking and growling then he came back into the room and showed her his hand which he said Alfie had bitten.


“He went to a tool box in the hallway and took out a hammer which he hit Alfie with at least four times before throwing the hammer at him.”


Alfie © RSPCAAlfie suffered a fracture to his left frontal sinus area and the hammer caused a depression in the bone. Alfie also had injuries to his back end which veterinary evidence suggested was consistent with being kicked.


RSPCA inspector Stainthorpe said: “This was a deliberate and violent attack following an argument with Johnson’s then partner, who is also the dog’s owner.


“It was more luck than anything that Alfie didn’t suffer more serious injuries.


“Very happily, Alfie has made a full recovery and has been rehomed to a family member who lives out of the area.”


Johnson was also given a 12 month community order including 30 days of rehabilitation requirement and ordered to pay £500 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.