Stephen Woodhouse, 52, a commercial airline pilot based in Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, England, kidnapped and killed his neighbor’s dog, Meg, by drowning it last July.
Corby Magistrates' Court heard that Meg’s owners, Alison and Alan Boddington, bought the dog for their sick daughter, Lauren, in 2007. Lauren died in 2009, but the family kept Meg around, reported The Telegraph.
Woodhouse took the a 10-year-old border terrier and drowned her in a bucket of water. He put Meg’s body in a bag, which he left in a hedge, but he went back to the body later and tried to cut the microchip out of the dog’s neck. Woodhouse blamed the dog’s barking and told police, “I just had to stop the noise.”
He added: "I'd been told that the dog had a chip so I took a craft knife to try to remove it and I cut the back of the dead dog's neck open. In hindsight, I needn't have bothered. I couldn't find anywhere to put the dog so I drove to Ashby St. Ledgers and disposed of it in another hedgerow. I can't believe I have caused a nice family so much suffering and grief.”
Woodhouse initially told his neighbors he didn’t know where the dog was, but after Allison found Meg’s fur and rope in the trunk of his car, he admitted he killed the dog, reports Metro.
Woodhouse’s attorney, Sara-Lise Hawe, said in court: "This is a dog that barked from morning until night, and a year before my client had had a heart attack, and spent time off work trying to recuperate.” She added, "He found it impossible to be in his garden. Mr Woodhouse is not a man who likes to complain but he had spoken to the council and he was at his wits' end. It was a momentary lapse of sanity with long-term consequences that left a village divided.”
Woodhouse was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, which will be suspended for two years. He was also told to pay the equivalent of $3,885 in costs and a victim charge.
During the sentencing, Judge Jane Eayrs said, "We've taken a great deal of time to consider this case, around which there is a great deal of emotion. You took the law into your own hands and killed your neighbor's dog, when you have persisted in speaking to the local authority."
The Boddingtons were devastated. “We got Meg as an 8-week-old puppy for our daughter who was special, needs as a little companion and obviously she became a very important part of our family,” Alan said. “We have got lots of memories of Lauren and Meg together and it has traumatized the children and all of us are very, very upset.”
As he left court, Woodhouse said, “It was a terrible thing to do.”
Image: Supplied via The Telegraph