Dash was a protective pet.
Dash was a protective pet. Contributed

Dog stabbed to death for barking

A MAN who stabbed a neighbour's pet dog to death because he became annoyed by its barking was jailed yesterday for six months.

Michael Leigh Turner, 18, launched the frenzied attack on six-year-old Rottweiler-cross, Dash, after first trying to beat it with a mop handle.

When Turner arrived at the neighbour's house armed with a 15cm blade knife, Dash lunged at Turner to protect his owner.

Turner then repeatedly stabbed Dash on the front veranda, before following him out into the street and continuing to stab the animal multiple times.

As Dash collapsed in the middle of the street and his owner rushed to his companion's side, Turner stood over them and said, "Do you want to be next?"

Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday heard Turner had at first tried to climb his neighbour's fence in Dampier St, Leichhardt on September 2 while armed with a mop handle.

Turner began swinging the mop handle at the dog before the owner, Adam Turnbull, met him out the front and the pair argued.

As Turner tried to entice Mr Turnbull to fight, Dash bit him on the feet.

Turner left but then came back, this time armed with the knife.

Mr Turnbull again met him at the front door, and protecting his owner, Dash lunged at Turner who began stabbing the dog repeatedly.

A horrified Mr Turnbull swung a branch at Turner in an attempt to stop the attack but Turner continued to stab the animal, even chasing it out on to the street before stabbing it again.

Dash eventually collapsed on the road and was taken to the vet but pronounced dead on arrival.

He had sustained 13 stab wounds. When police arrived Mr Turnbull was carrying his deceased pet, wrapped in a blanket.

Turner was taken to Ipswich Hospital for treatment.

Mr Turnbull, a father of four, yesterday told the QT he was disappointed with the sentence and said it wouldn't deter others from doing the same thing.

"It's pretty lousy. Dash was a big part of my life for a long time," he said.

"I am not even close to being happy with it. It doesn't give the right impression to others.

"What's so sad is Dash hated violence.

"He was so gentle. He was an awesome dog."

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough told the court the confrontation escalated when the dog attacked his client.

"His first appearance in court was in a wheelchair as he was unable to walk from the bites," Mr Fairclough said.

"He has some mental health issues and a significant problem with alcohol.

"On this day he had drunk six beers and some wine."

Turner pleaded guilty to one count of injuring animals and one count of going armed to cause fear.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum said it was obvious the dog was simply "protecting his master".

"The death of a family pet can be very traumatic," Ms MacCallum said.

She said Turner would have caused significant distress to Mr Turnbull by killing his beloved companion.

A parole release date was set for November 10, meaning with time already spent in custody Turner would serve seven weeks of the sentence.

Eight members of Turner's family were in court to support him.


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