In Youth Court today a 16 year old lad appeared, charged with animal cruelty contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
He stole a German Shepherd puppy from a garden and took it to his father's industrial unit.
He tied the puppy spread-eagled to a wooden pallet, then proceeded to have sexual intercourse with it, causing the dog, as you might imagine, serious internal injuries. Then, over a period of four days, with the dog still tied to the pallet, systematically tortured her by cutting with a kitchen paring knife, burning with both flame and acid, attempting to put a plastic bag over the dog's head, kicking it, finally attempting to drill a hole in the dog's head with an electric drill. At one point, he inverted the pallet, so the dog was underneath, and attempted to stand on it but was unsuccessful, being unable to achieve balance.
Apparently, an HGV driver, dropping his trailer at an adjacent unit just after midnight, heard the dog in obvious distress and called the Police.
We can be absolutely certain as to precisely what the youth had been doing because he had a camera set up and was filming his exploits on successive occasions, the Police finding the camera on the premises when they effected entry.
He was interviewed under caution by the Police and we heard an officer ask why he had done these things.
The youth explained that she (the dog) was "gagging for it" and he was bored with the school holidays.
The dog was beyond help and was destroyed at the scene by a vet. The post mortem report, for obvious reasons, doesn't need to be described here.
The youth was remanded to the care of the local authority pending reports.
Some days are not so good. This one will stay with me and my colleagues for some time to come I think.