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RSPCA shocked by 'torture' of family pets by Swindon man

A warning that this article contains images and details which some readers may find distressing.

A man from Swindon who killed a dog and seriously injured another has been banned from keeping animals for life.

23 year old James Cooper, of Severn Avenue in Greenmeadow, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to whippets Tinkerbelle and Millie

The RSPCA said it was shocked at the "torture" he'd inflicted on the two family pets.

Vets raised concerns about the frequency of Tinkerbelle's visits. Credit: RSPCA

They began an investigation after a vet raised concerns about a whippet called Tinkerbelle - who was in Cooper's care for three weeks.

During that time she presented injures to her tail, fractures, and an eye-injury.

She also had a human bite mark and what is thought to have been a chemical burn to the back of her neck.

The dog suffered an eye-injury, as well as wounds and fractures. Credit: RSPCA

While awaiting a court trial over Tinkerbelle's injuries, Cooper was helping to look after another whippet while her owners were on holiday.

She died after suffering blunt force trauma and multiple rib fractures.

We are shocked at how such a thing could happen to two family pets. This is an unusual case in that we have two animals where the defendant has pleaded guilty to a catalogue of, what the judge said was, torture.

– RSPCA Chief Inspector John Atkinson
Tinkerbelle was also found to have a human bite mark at what is thought to have been a chemical burn to the back of her neck Credit: RSPCA

Cooper was given a 12-week consecutive prison sentence for each offence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £1,000 court costs and a victim surcharge of £115.

He must also carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and can not appeal his lifetime ban of owning animals.