Mechanic jailed for 'vicious' attack on spaniel

A MECHANIC who kicked a dog around a beach "like a football" was jailed for three months today.

Martin McNaught, 29, of Gilmour Street, Southside, took his ex-girlfriend's Welsh springer spaniel for a walk at Silverknowes.

But, with a job interview coming up, he lost his temper when Simba refused to go back to the car and lashed out at the dog.

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He was found guilty after a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month of causing the animal unnecessary suffering on March 6 last year.

McNaught had admitted dragging the dog by its lead and giving it a "shove" with his foot, but denied kicking or stamping.

However, witnesses saw McNaught, who had a young child with him at the time, repeatedly kicking the two-and-a-half-year-old dog, standing on its head and dragging it over a wall by its lead.

Defence agent Phil Templeton said two vets had been unable to say whether or not Simba had been injured.

But Sheriff Elizabeth Jarvie QC, sentencing McNaught today, said it had been "a cowardly and vicious attack which caused the witnesses to be shocked and sickened".

Eyewitness Barbara Brewster, 47, told the trial last month that people walking along the beach were screaming at McNaught to stop his attack.

Another witness, David Waughman, 47, told the court: "I have never seen anything like it. It was like he was kicking a football."

Doreen Graham from the Scottish SPCA welcomed the three-month sentence for what she described as a "cowardly act against a small dog". The law allowed for a sentence of up to a year and or a fine of 20,000.

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When the incident occurred, she said, the society had been inundated with people who had witnessed the attack.

She added: "Their descriptions are still hard to listen to".