'Violent' Walsall dog owner beat puppy while shouting: 'Do you want to be punched again?'
A 'cruel' dog owner from Brownshill has been sentenced after repeatedly beating his Labrador puppy and yelling: "Do you want to be punched again?"
James Spencer, 33, was filmed by horrified onlookers repeatedly striking the dog, named Budd, before picking him up and 'throwing' him in his van, where he proceeded to reign down further blows.
Witnesses observed five separate, but similar, incidents outside his home on Lindon Road in Brownhills, West Midlands.
A judge concluded the defendant, who was said to have learning difficulties, did not have the 'skills to deal or cope' with a young dog.
Spencer pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.
He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and banned from keeping animals for ten years.
The court heard how the incidents took place between June 1st and July 25th last year, typically in the parking area near his home.
Sara Pratt, prosecuting, said one witness saw Spencer strike the dog on three separate occasions but was 'ready' on the third when she filmed the incident.
Ms Pratt said: "The defendant was seen to be calling to Budd who didn't come to him. He only approached when the defendant lay on the floor.
"This defendant picked the dog up struck him, then repeatedly slapped him in the van. The dog was thrown into the van and he was seen to repeatedly punch the dog. The footage was sent to the RSPCA.
"The defendant was heard to say: 'Do you want to be punched again do you? Do you want to be punched again?'"
Spencer voluntarily surrendered the puppy, which was examined in September and found to be 'bright, alert and friendly'.
However, Budd was also observed to be 'passive' when picked up, possibly due to a 'history of negative encounters', the prosecutor added.
Spencer initially claimed he would only smack Budd once to the nose if he was 'naughty' before confessing to the full extent of the abuse.
District Judge Jonathan Straw said: "I have watched the video. What was evident was a significant degree of inadequacy on part of the defendant.
"He initially was seen using conventional methods to call and cajole the dog. Then when, unsurprisingly, the dog didn't obey his commands he became frustrated, which spiralled to anger and he meted physical chastisement by way of punches.
"This wasn't cruelty from the start. It was a consequence of him simply not having the skills to deal with or cope with a puppy or any dog and becoming angry and frustrated as a consequence of the dog not obeying him."
Pallo Bailey, mitigating, confirmed Spencer had a number of 'difficulties' and was currently unable to work after falling from a ladder.
District Judge Straw described the assaults as 'appalling, cruel and violent' but acknowledged the defendant's own 'vulnerabilities'.
Spencer was also ordered to attend 20 rehabilitation activity days and pay £500 in costs.