Lisburn man jailed for crushing puppy's skull in temper

by Paul Higgins

A man who crushed a puppy’s skull in a fit of temper because it pee’d on the kitchen floor was jailed for ten months today.

Ordering 24-year-old Marcus Sarre to spend six months behind bars for kicking 15-week-old Lilo to death, to be followed by 18 months on supervised licence conditions, Judge Patrick Lynch QC also orders him to spend a further four months in jail for head butting his father’s ex partner.

Jailing him at Craigavon Crown Court, the judge said the force Sarre had exerted when he lashed out “must have been extreme” to have caused such severe injuries to the puppy.

Barring Sarre from keeping any animals for ten years, Judge Lynch added that “society should show its rejection of animal cruelty” and there must be a “severe penalty” for that activity.

At an earlier hearing Sarre, from Avonmore Park In Lisburn, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Lilo, a 15 week old crossbred husky and collie, on 14 April this year.

The court heard how, fearing there was a domestic incident, neighbours called police when they heard screaming. 

Prosecuting counsel Nicola Aurett told the court that when police arrived, they saw blood on the hallway with a trail leading them to the bathroom. 

“The dog was lying dead in the bath with blood all around it,” said the lawyer adding that Sarre, who had “drink taken,” admitted kicking the puppy.

She told the court that a report from a pathologist who examined the dogs remains, said the cause of her death was skull fractures.

Arrested and interviewed, Sarre said that he had let the dogs out after he had been away from his dwelling for a short time but his older dog, Polo, did a poo on the kitchen floor and he shouted loudly at it. 

This caused the Lilo to pee on the floor and he kicked it against a kitchen cupboard.

Sarre, who was upset during police interviews, told cops Lilo was bleeding from the mouth and was unresponsive so he took her to the bathroom where he tried CPR but either success.

Ms Auret submitted it was an aggravating feature that at the time of the incident, Sarre was on bail for assault. 

In that case, the court heard that police were called at an address in Lisburn on 21 January last year and found a female sitting in a sofa, crying and bleeding from her swollen nose.

The woman, the ex-partner of Sarre’s father, said the pair had been drinking when Sarre tried to kiss her but that when she pushed him away, he head butted her and then kicked her several times when she fell to the floor. 

Defence counsel Damien Halloran conceded that birth incidents had been “deeply unsavoury.”

He added that Lilo’s tragic death was “almost instantaneous” and while Sarre tried to resuscitate the dog, it was a “futile exercise.”

The lawyer submitted it had been a “moment of madnes” for Sarre to lash out but Lilo’s death had left him “completely hysterical, lying on the ground crying,” adding there was no suggestion of cruelty or maltreatment to his other dog Polo whom he rehomed from a rescue centre five years ago. 

Mr Halleron revealed that Sarre had been abusing alcohol and drugs and had a difficulty coping with stress “if things didn’t go his way,” submitting that the judge could impose community service or leave “something hanging over his head.”

Judge Lynch disagreed however and jailed Sarre, who must have known he was in danger of being jailed as he had a packed bag with him. 

For killing Lilo, Sarre was jailed for six months and the judge imposed for months for causing actual bodily harm, ordering the sentences to be served consecutively. 

He also disqualified Sarre from looking after animals for 10 years.

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