1. ITV Report

Row in court as man appears over puppy death

Eleven-week-old puppy Sparky was killed in Lurgan on Monday evening. Credit: Pacemaker

The mother of a man accused of killing an 11-week-old puppy with a hammer in Lurgan has clashed with animal rights activists during his court appearance.

Kyle Keegan, 23 and from Gilpins Manor in the Co Armagh town, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday charged with animal cruelty.

He simply nodded in the dock to confirm his name and the charge against him.

A police officer told the court she believed she could connect Keegan with the charge.

No bail application was made and he was remanded in custody for four weeks.

During a discussion with his defence lawyer about a possible future bail application, District Judge Bernadette Kelly said there may not be a suitable address for him in Northern Ireland given recent coverage of the case on social media.

When Keegan’s lawyer said he was looking for an address outside Lurgan, Ms Kelly responded: “Somewhere about the Azores I reckon. Have you checked social media this morning?”

The case was adjourned until 2 March when Keegan will appear before the court via video-link.

As Keegan was remanded, animal rights activists shouted angrily at him.

His mother approached one of them and said: “He was brought up decent. He was brought up well.”