Man (24) pleads guilty to beating puppy to death with hammer

Animal cruelty incident involving Kyle Keegan and 12-week-old dog broadcast on internet

A man who bludgeoned a puppy to death with a hammer and broadcast the incident on the internet has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.

A man who bludgeoned a puppy to death with a hammer and broadcast the incident on the internet has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.

 

A man who bludgeoned a puppy to death with a hammer and broadcast the incident on the internet has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.

Kyle Keegan (24) was due to go on trial at Craigavon Crown Court on Wednesday accused of causing unnecessary suffering to Sparky, a 12-week-old puppy on February 3rd, 2018 in Co Armagh.

However, defence counsel Barry McKenna on Tuesday asked for the charge to be put to Keegan again, and his client pleaded guilty.

Following the plea, prosecuting counsel Nicola Aurett asked that a second count of criminal damage, accusing Keegan of destroying the puppy without lawful excuse, be left on the books.

Judge Patrick Lynch QC acceded to that application and to a defence application that sentencing be adjourned pending the completion of a pre-sentence probation report.

Keegan, from Gilpins Manor in Lurgan, was released on continuing bail until sentencing on July 4th. The judge told him it would be “in you own interests to co-operate with probation”.

A court previously heard that the puppy’s remains were found in a bin in the Ailsbury Park area of Lurgan after a house party. Sparky had sustained a number of fractures as well as severe brain trauma.

At one stage there were allegations that Sparky’s body was put in a microwave. Tissue samples were sent to Scotland for analysis but to date, no evidence of that has been forthcoming.

Police conducted enquiries with social media firms about the incident being broadcast online and District Judge Bernie Kelly previously said she had seen a photograph of the incident online.

“I’m shocked I’m going to say this but [it was done] for someone’s entertainment,” she said “I have been in this post for more than 35 years and I have never in my life come across something as cruel as what’s alleged in this case.”