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Ex-army dog handler tried to get rottweiler to drink lager

PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 March 2011 | UPDATED: 11:30 23 March 2011

Vincent McCormick has been banned from keeping dogs after he kicked his rottweiler

Vincent McCormick has been banned from keeping dogs after he kicked his rottweiler

Archant © 2011

A former British Army dog handler has been banned from keeping dogs for six years after he kicked his pet rottweiler in a Lowestoft street.

As well as kicking Roxy the black and tan rottweiler, Vincent McCormick was seen by horrified onlookers trying to pour a can of lager down her throat.

Yesterday McCormick, 32, of Seago Road, Lowestoft, was banned from keeping or looking after any dog for six years after he previously admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Roxy by kicking her.

McCormick had also admitted failing to protect Roxy from pain, injury, suffering and disease by kicking her and failing to provide Roxy with a suitable diet for her age, breed, sex and condition.

Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court heard that the former army pioneer dog handler was seen in Suffolk Road on September 28 mistreating his pet by kicking and punching her.

Ross Burrows prosecuting for the RSPCA said: “The defendant was seen trying to force alcohol, a can of lager, down the dog’s throat.

“The dog was extremely scared and nervous.”

Roxy was found by the RSPCA to be underweight and her ribs and spine could clearly be seen.

The dog is now in a kennel and after yesterday’s hearing the RSPCA can start looking for a home for her. It has cost the RSPCA about £1,400 to look after Roxy.

The court heard McCormick had been given an exemplary discharge from the army but was suffering from mental health problems.

McCormick has also had another rottweiler and a Staffordshire bull terrier. He told the court: “I have always been a pet person.”

Calvin Saker, mitigating, said: “He used to be a dog handler. He thought the world of this particular dog.”

McCormick had originally denied the three offences.

He had claimed he had only been playing roughly with Roxy and the witnesses had exaggerated the incident.

But Mr Saker said his client now accepted the rough play had gone too far.

As well as a six-year ban on keeping or looking after dogs McCormick, who is on benefits, was placed on a six-month community order and made to pay £200 to the RSPCA in compensation and £200 in costs.

McCormick can apply after four years to the court to see if the six- year dog ban can be lifted.

RSPCA inspector Ben Kirby investigated Roxy’s mistreatment and was pleased with 
McCormick’s punishment.

After the court hearing he said: “Deliberately attacking an animal is not acceptable. It is no defence to say that this was ‘rough and tumble’.”

anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk

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