|Man Prosecuted After Dog Kills Neighbour’s Cat|
Roehampton man banned from ever keeping a dog in his council flat
Eyewitnesses say Richard Kick calmly swigged from a can of lager and looked on impassively while his bull terrier savaged the cat during an incident on Roehampton' Lennox estate last summer.
Some onlookers said they thought he had encouraged his terrier to make the attack and was egging it on. Others said he seemed only interested in making sure he didn't spill any of his beer.
The incident occurred when many people were watching the closing ceremony of the London Paralympics on TV. Residents of the estate told council investigators that they heard a loud commotion in the street outside, including the cat's cries of pain.
When they looked out of their windows they saw that Mr Kick's dog had trapped the cat in its jaws and was growling loudly and aggressively shaking it from side to side. They also saw that the dog was on a lead being held by Mr Kick but that he did nothing to stop the attack.
Many residents said they shouted at Mr Kick to do something to control his dog but he refused. One witness said that a plastic bag he was carrying split open dumping tins of lager on the road. According to the witness he seemed far more interested in rescuing his cans than saving the cat.
The attack, which had lasted for some minutes, finally ended when the dog dropped the cat from its jaws and Mr Kick pulled him on his lead back to his flat. The cat died a few moments later.
Following the incident staff in the council's dog control team launched an investigation, interviewed eyewitnesses, gathered evidence and collated a number of witness statements.
This evidence was then passed on to the RSPCA which has statutory powers to prosecute cases of animal cruelty.
Mr Kick, of Esme House in Ludovic Walk, was subsequently convicted at Wimbledon magistrates court of two offences under animal welfare laws. He was sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid community work, banned from keeping a dog for five years and ordered to pay £250 costs.
He then signalled that he would be appealing against his conviction, but just as the case was due to be heard again at the Crown Court, he withdrew his appeal.
As well as being banned from ever keeping any dog in his council flat, Mr Kick has also been served with a legal notice which carries the threat of eviction. If he breaches any tenancy condition or is convicted of any further criminal offences he will almost certainly face legal action to evict him.
The council's cabinet member for housing Cllr Paul Ellis paid tribute to "all those who have ensured that Mr Kick faced justice for this despicable and deplorable act of cruelty.
"Mr Kick has shown himself to be completely unfit to look after an animal and as a result he will never again be allowed to keep a dog in any Wandsworth Council-owned property. And if he causes any more problems to his neighbours he can be pretty certain that he won't have a council roof over his head any more."
July 19, 2013