1. ITV Report

'No evidence' that Sparky the pup was put in microwave

'No evidence' found that Sparky the pup was subjected to physical suffering before dying. Credit: Pacemaker

A veterinary pathologist has found no evidence that a puppy allegedly bludgeoned to death with a hammer was also put in a microwave.

Nothing in the report indicates the dog called Sparky had been subjected to physical suffering before dying, the High Court heard today.

Details emerged as a man accused of inflicting the fatal injuries was granted bail once more.

Kyle Keegan, 24, from Gilpins Manor in Lurgan, Co Armagh, is charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the 11-week-old pet on 3rd February this year.

The dog's remains were found in a bin following the suspected attack at a drink and drug-fueled house party in the Ailsbury Park area of the town.

A postmortem confirmed the pup had sustained a number of fractures as well as severe brain trauma.

Defence counsel Barry McKenna referred to suspicions raised at previous hearings that the dog had also been put in a microwave.

Tests were to be carried out in what he described as a "live issue" at the time.

But Lord Justice Treacy heard the veterinary pathologist's report, contained in papers served by the prosecution, now appears to have ruled that out. "I find no evidence that the puppy was exposed to microwave radiation," the expert concluded.

She also stated there is "no indication of physical suffering at the time of the puppy's death or in the period shortly before death are recognised in the evidential material I have examined".

Mr McKenna submitted: "It's a disturbing case, but these are two significant matters."

Keegan has been in custody since June due to alleged breaches of his previous release conditions.

Granting renewed bail, the judge said: "This is a horrible case, and it's a very, very serious charge."

He ordered Keegan to attend his GP within seven days and warned that any further breaches will lead to him remaining in prison until trial.