A Maltese man has been handed a two-year prison sentence, suspended for four years, and a €8,000 fine for throwing a dog from two-storeys and killing it.
The incident happened on 19th September, between 6.30pm and 8pm in Marsaskala.
The man, who is 50-years-old, admitted to the heinous crime and was said to be taking anti-depressant pills and consuming alcohol at the time the incident happened.
“[He] was found in a bad condition and was also suffering from depression, even crying at times,” a police report presented at the court hearing said.
He was also taken to Mater Dei Hospital for further evaluation.
Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, who presided over the hearing, took into consideration the defendant’s good conduct and mental issues.
While she was reluctant to incarcerate, she imposed a two-year prison sentence, which is the maximum for such an offence, suspended for four years and an €8,000 fine.
“Acts like this strip away any form of humanity; it’s a savage act that gives you shivers. As such the penalty to be served must be one that reflects the seriousness of the offense; conveying a clear and unequivocal message that in a civilised society such actions can never be tolerated,” the judgement said.
Despite the seriousness of the offence, he was not barred from owning pets in the future as this case does not fall under the “Electronic Dog Identification Rules, where a person convicted of an animal cruelty offence may be prohibited from keeping a dog for such period as the court deems it appropriate,” the court noted.
“In cases where, as in the present case, a person has shown by the facts that he should never be entrusted with keeping an animal in his lifetime, this court is precluded from giving any similar order because the Appropriate Treatment Act Of Animals does not provide for any similar sanction as a consequence of a conviction under that act.”
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