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Co Antrim man given community service and ban following brutal attack on dog

Dog who was brutally beaten



John Little aged 19, formerly of Wellington Green, Larne was sentenced at Ballymena Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 28 February, after previously pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering of a dog called “Diesel”.

The charges were brought against Mr Little by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.


Proceedings followed an investigation by Council’s Animal Welfare Officer in August 2021 when a report was received from a member of the public of an injured dog found in a ditch in Inver, Larne.

Ditch where 'Diesel' was found

Above: Ditch where 'Diesel' was found

Dog who was brutally beaten

The dog was rushed for emergency treatment and the Vet who treated Diesel observed:

“On examination the dog was subdued, had a large malodorous weeping wound on the top of his head and had severe sweeling and bruising of the eyes and mouth.”

In addition, there were four puncture wounds to the left-hand side of Diesel’s face. A radiograph of the dog’s skull revealed two fractures. After treatment at vets for approximately a month he was transferred to Dogs Trust where he was later successfully rehomed to a new family.


After enquiries it was discovered that Mr Little had been in possession of "Diesel”. Animal Welfare executed a search warrant at a property in 2021 and seized mobile devices. These devices were examined, and numerous photos and videos were found of “Diesel” on Mr Little’s phone.

Dog who was brutally beaten

Messages found on Mr Little’s phone demonstrated that he and another individual planned the attack.


On March 27th 2024 District Judge Broderick sentenced Mr Little to 180 hours Community Service along with a 20 year Disqualification Order from owning all animals. In addition to this, Mr Little was ordered to pay £807.95 in expenses.


Commenting on the case a spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said:


"Council gives a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and horses and operates a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.

"Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the service of Improvement Notices, or in extreme cases, seizure of animals.  The Council may also prosecute for offences such as in this case which I hope serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals”.

Dog who was brutally beaten


Mr Little previously pleaded guilty in respect of causing unnecessary suffering of a dog, which is anoffence contrary to section 4 of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011

A second man has pleaded guilty to his involvement in the matter and is to be sentenced at a later date.


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