A 37-year-old man has been jailed for six months and banned from keeping animals for life after he was found guilty of beating the family’s pet Collie to death.

The incident occurred in March 2002 following an argument between Wayne Pearce, from Washington, in Tyne and Wear, and his 15-year-old daughter, who was seven-months pregnant at the time.

The family’s six-year-old Collie, Jack, had been trained by Wayne to defend his children. However, when Wayne struck his daughter in a drunken rage, Jack turned on his owner, biting him on the leg.

Wayne retaliated by grabbing a stick in both hands and rained down blow after blow on the helpless dog. Mr Pearce then dragged Jack outside, saying: “You are going to die”. The dog’s charred body was later found in woodland.

RSPCAinspector Michelle Charlton described the vicious attack as one of the most distressing incidents she has encountered in her career.

She told HHO: “It was a horrific and sickening attack. I am pleased Mr Pearce got six months imprisonment — the maximum custodial sentence for such a brutal act of cruelty.”

Mr Pearce issued a plea of guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dog before magistrates at Houghton-le-Spring.

Clive McKeag, prosecution for the RSPCA, said: “This is a case of unmitigated cruelty and sadism by a man whose drunkenness caused the death of a family pet.”

  • Got a news story? Click here to email the HHO newsdesk.