Evil Leeds man caught on CCTV ‘striking, kicking and dragging’ puppy by the neck given animal ban

A Leeds man who was caught on CCTV striking, kicking and dragging his puppy by the neck has been banned from keeping animals for a decade.
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Three videos showed Ace, an eight-month-old white and brindle Boxer-type dog, being abused in the garden of a property in Swarcliffe Drive in Leeds by his owner Christopher Silverthorne. A vet who assessed the footage said that the dog could suffer from “life-long” emotional distress as a result of the “unnecessary suffering”.

Footage taken on March 25 this year captured Silverthorne, aged 22, kicking the puppy on his right hind leg and striking him on the chest with his hand. He then grabbed the side of the dog’s face and deliberately tipped over his water bowl, forcing Ace to drink from the floor.

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Two further videos on April 19 showed Silverthorne dragging the puppy by the neck on his hind legs and hitting him twice on the side of the face - once with an unknown object - leaving the dog cowering in fear.

Christopher Silverthorne was caught on CCTV abusing Ace, an eight-month-old white and brindle Boxer-type dogChristopher Silverthorne was caught on CCTV abusing Ace, an eight-month-old white and brindle Boxer-type dog
Christopher Silverthorne was caught on CCTV abusing Ace, an eight-month-old white and brindle Boxer-type dog

The CCTV was passed to the RSPCA, which then started an investigation.

At a sentencing hearing last Tuesday (November 28), Silverthorne was banned from keeping animals for ten years.

Magistrates were told how RSPCA inspector Adam Dickinson, accompanied by police, visited Silverthorne on May 20 to ask about the footage. Ace, who was described as appearing “very nervous” and keeping his tail between his legs, was then taken into possession.

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In his statement to the court, inspector Dickinson said: “I took Ace for an examination. Whilst waiting, he drank continuously for one minute and 27 seconds and whenever I made any sudden moves, he would react in a nervous manner and distance himself from me. Following his clinical examination, he then drank continuously for a further one minute 41 seconds, clearing two bowls of remaining water.”

A vet who viewed the CCTV and gave evidence as part of the case said Silverthorne had inflicted harm on the puppy at least six times by striking, kicking and dragging him upwards by the neck, while failing to adequately support his weight.

In her statement she said: “The owner caused unnecessary suffering on multiple accounts by inflicting pain on Ace. There was no reasonable explanation for these outbursts.

“The dog will have suffered momentarily during the hitting, kicking, dragging and throwing episodes, however the emotional impact may have a life-long effect. This is shown by Ace’s fear behaviours - cowering when approached, or running away from the person in the videos.

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“It is likely Ace will have been in pain for several days after being hit and he will have suffered, at the very least, mild soft tissue injuries.”

Pictures of the puppy showed his visible ribs and two areas of hair loss. The vet said Ace was underweight, with a body score condition of only three out of nine, and that any reasonable owner would have sought veterinary attention.

Silverthorne, now of Tarnside Drive, Seacroft, in Leeds, accepted the videos did not make for pleasant viewing. In mitigation he said he was remorseful and should have treated the puppy better.

Ace has been in the care of an RSPCA branch since May and was signed over by the defendant in October. He is doing well and will now be rehomed.