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Thug who killed dog with hammer spared jail

A MAN who beat his girlfriend’s dog to death with a hammer escaped jail last month after sobbing in court that he loved the pet.

Stuart Dransfield, 58, came home drunk and hit German Shepherd cross Perdi on the head three times with a hammer after she bit him. Partner Angela Orton begged him to stop but Dransfield threatened her, saying: ‘Go away or you'll get the same.’ The savage attack on March 13 last year broke Perdi's skull in 18 places.

Dransfield told police he loved Perdi and had not struck her before. He wept: ‘I can't believe what I have done.’ He said he had kept animals for 40 years and never been cruel.

Magistrates imposed a 28-day jail sentence, suspended for a year, and banned Dransfield, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire from keeping animals for life. The sentence drew criticism from animal welfare groups who felt that Dransfield should have been jailed, as other people who have cruelly killed animals in such ways have been handed custodial sentences by the courts.