COUNTY NEWS VIDEO: Sussex man banned from keeping dogs

A man has been banned from keeping dogs after he was caught on camera threatening and abusing a dog.

Laurence Skelson, aged 63, of Faygate Close, Bexhill, appeared before Hastings Magistrates’ Court on January 12.

Laurence Skelson has been banned from keeping dogs after being caught on camera threatening a dog with a large wooden plank and a mop. Photo courtesy of the RSPCA. SUS-180602-151228001

Laurence Skelson has been banned from keeping dogs after being caught on camera threatening a dog with a large wooden plank and a mop. Photo courtesy of the RSPCA. SUS-180602-151228001

In a video clip the defendant was seen in three separate incidents on the same day. In one incident he used the end of a plank of wood to jab the neck of Boston who was lying on the ground. In two earlier incidents he also used a mop and a shovel in a bid to intimidate the dog.

The incident was reported in May to the RSPCA, who launched an investigation.

Boston did not belong to the defendant, but he had been looking after him. The dog was examined by the RSPCA and a vet and fortunately did not have any significant injuries as a result of the abuse. The dog remains in the care of his owner.

At court Skelson pleaded guilty to failing to meet the needs of an American bulldog called Boston, by not ensuring his need to exhibit normal behaviour patterns by the use of inappropriate chastisement methods.

Laurence Skelson has been banned from keeping dogs after being caught on camera threatening a dog with a large wooden plank and a mop. Photo courtesy of the RSPCA. SUS-180602-151217001

Laurence Skelson has been banned from keeping dogs after being caught on camera threatening a dog with a large wooden plank and a mop. Photo courtesy of the RSPCA. SUS-180602-151217001

He was disqualified from keeping dogs for life until further order and ordered to pay £300 costs, fined £120 and must pay a £30 victim surcharge.

RSPCA Inspector Alison Edwards said: “It really is heartbreaking to watch the video and see in one of the clips that Boston was not in any way acting aggressively, in fact quite the opposite, he was behaving in a submissive way by trying to get away from the man and lying on his side, but is still subjected to being jabbed in the neck with a large wooden plank. This was a totally unnecessary way of treating this poor dog.

“I am just grateful that poor Boston did not suffer any lasting physical injuries as a result of this unwarranted incident.

“I hope this sentence sends out a clear message that this type of behaviour against animals will not be tolerated by the courts.”