A man has been jailed for fatally bashing his housemate’s three-year-old miniature poodle, Lutas.A man who fatally bashed his housemate’s miniature poodle with a tree branch because he was annoyed at the dog’s barking has been jailed.
Magistrate Denise Livingstone labelled the cruelty Yue-Ming Li inflicted on Lutas the three-year-old dog as “one of the most horrible offences I have heard”, and after learning there were no mental health problems attributable, jailed him for two months.
Li was at his Highett home on August 24 last year when he heard Lutas barking and took a tree branch from the front yard and violently struck the dog three times, according to a prosecution summary tendered to Melbourne Magistrates Court.
Li admitted to police he wanted to teach the dog a lesson.
Lutas suffered a fractured skull and brain damage and despite a vet’s attempt to save the pet, he was euthanised the following day.
Lutas’ owners were out at the time, but Li contacted them when he realised their pet was critically injured, the prosecution summary says.
He accompanied the owners to the vet and paid the $5000 in vet costs, the court heard on Thursday.
Li, a 33-year-old with a masters degree in IT and the developer of a real estate website, pleaded guilty to committing aggravating cruelty to an animal.
Ms Livingstone said she was so horrified by the “abhorrent” crime that she had Li undergo a psychological assessment.
When that report came back clear, she said she had no option than to jail Li to deter him and others from similar offending.
“This is one of the most horrible offences I have heard,” she told him.
“A dog is little and vulnerable and people love their dogs, in some cases as much as they love family members.
“What you did on this occasion was brutal and out of all proportions to the annoyance that a barking dog can cause you.”
Li was taken into custody but is expected to appeal against his sentence.
Defence counsel Justin Podmore said his client was remorseful and unlikely to reoffend.
But Ms Livingstone pointed to Li’s admission to police that he had hit Lutas previously.
Prosecutor Daniel Bode, for the RSPCA, said Li’s crimes were at the higher end of animal cruelty offences and called for him to be disqualified from owning a pet for the maximum 10 years.
The magistrate granted the request.
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