Steriod taking bully avoids prison after he tortured four-month-old puppy
A steriod taking bully has avoided prison after he tortured a four-month-old puppy. He cried when he told RSPCA inspectors he did it because his head was “f*****” on steroids.
A horrified neighbour secretly filmed Callum Ruane, 21, repeatedly punching, kicking, slapping and throwing the American Bully dog, called Dice, at his home in Warrington.
The shocking footage was passed to the RSPCA.
When interviewed by inspectors at his mum’s home, a tearful Ruane claimed he had attacked Dice because he had “just completed a cycle of steroids and his head was f*****”.
Carmel Wilde, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told Liverpool Crown Court today that Susie Perry and another neighbour, Kerry Liggett, first became concerned when they heard a dog “screaming” on September 25, 2021.
Ms Perry ran to look out of an upstairs window which overlooked the patio door of the defendant’s property, offering a view into the kitchen area
Ms Wilde said: “She could see Dice in his crate and the defendant was punching Dice to the head. Kerry Liggett, the same day, heard a horrible yelping sound lasting 10 seconds at least, and thought it was odd.
“Her neighbour called round 10 minutes later saying the defendant had strangled the dog by putting it in a headlock and punched it. They reported matters to the RSPCA and were advised by the control room to try and obtain videos of the abuse.”
On October 3, Ms Perry noticed that Dice had got out of his crate and had chewed a bag, some money and a pair of sunglasses in Ruane’s kitchen. Fearing his reaction, Ms Perry began filming on her mobile phone.
Initially, Ruane’s then partner and the owner of Dice, Phoebe Jones, came into the room and began cleaning up the mess. The court heard Ms Perry thought Miss Jones “looked worried”.
A short time later Ms Perry heard Dice “screaming” so ran to the window again. Ms Wilde told the court: “She described the defendant beating the dog. She became petrified and shaky and could not understand why Miss Jones was not stopping it.”
Ms Perry heard the dog yelping and spotted Ruane holding Dice fully off the floor by his head and neck. The couple’s other dog, Kilo, was also present and was “spinning around agitated”.
Ms Wilde said: “The defendant could be seen throwing Dice into the crate. He then gets into the crate with the dog and can be seen hitting it. The dog can be heard yelping.”
Ruane left the dog in the crate, but not before aiming a kick at it as it cried. Later that day Ms Perry captured another video showing Ruane using “random objects” to jab and poke Dice, although the crate was covered with a blanket which obscured the full extent of the abuse.
Perhaps most disturbingly, further footage captured by Ms Perry showed Ruane luring Dice out of his crate by pretending to offer him affection, only to punch him and throw him back into the crate by his throat.
RSPCA inspectors attended Ruane’s address and confronted him with the footage. He confirmed he was the man in the video and admitted his behaviour was unacceptable, blaming steroids for making his head “f*****”.
The court heard he became tearful and said “if I could change it I would”.
Both Dice and Kilo were removed and Dice showed behavioural problems which experts said were linked to the abuse.
Vets also noted he was slouching and struggled walking, leading to a diagnosis of hip dysplasia caused by an underlying genetic disorder.
The court heard the RSPCA believed the long-lasting behavioural issues caused by the abuse were a danger in a dog capable of causing life-changing injuries to humans and other dogs, and combined with the suffering caused by his pre-existing conditions, a decision was made to put Dice to sleep.
The court heard the abuse did not directly cause severe injuries leading to Dice’s death, however.
Ruane, of Bewsey Road, in Bewsey, Warrington, admitted a charge of cruelty to a protected animal but initially claimed he had only abused Dice on one occasion.
The RSPCA rejected his basis of plea and he later admitted the full facts of the prosecution case.
He was also charged with cruelty to another dog, Kilo, which he denied, but the prosecution allowed that charge to lie on the file in light of his guilty pleas.
Ruane was handed a 16-week prison term, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and to attend 20 Rehabilitation Activity days with the Probation Service. He was also ordered to pay £1,800 in prosecution costs.
Judge Leiper said Ruane would be banned from owning or controlling any animal for five years unless a court lifted the disqualification order, which could not be for a minimum of two years.
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