The mother of a man who beat his puppy to death cheered as her son was jailed after joining animal rights protesters in court.
Jon-Luc McLoughlin, 26, savagely punched 11-month-old Alsatian Lexi to death before dumping her body near some trees, which traumatised children later found.
His sentencing hearing was attended by around 25 animal rights campaigners and among them was the defendant’s mother and half-brother.
McLoughlin, from Poole, Dorset, was jailed for 16 weeks but his sibling, Alec Mackay said the sentence wasn’t long enough.
McLaughlin was also banned from owning animals for the rest of his life – a decision which was greeted with cheers from protesters, some of whom wore T-shirts with the words ‘Justice for Lexi’ printed on them.
He said: ‘My mum is grateful that he has gone down but I don’t think 16 weeks is long enough. If anything it should have been a year minimum.
‘If it was a human he would have gone down for a lot longer. We are all living creatures so he deserved to get more. I hope the dog comes back and bites him on his a**e.’
Poole Magistrates’ Court heard that McLoughlin had only owned Lexi for around a month before he killed her in a fit of rage.
During a police interview he initially lied by saying Lexi had been hit by a car but later confessed to killing her.
Matthew Knight, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: ‘He punched the dog to death and dumped the body in some trees near his home.
‘It was found by locals and upset local children who saw it. She had a laceration to her liver, blood in her abdomen and a stomach tear.
‘It is likely that the dog did not survive for long.’
When brought in for questioning, McLoughlin told officers: ‘I get very angry and I don’t know what came over me’.
James Moore, mitigating, said that the defendant was a ‘deeply troubled individual’ and asked for him to be offered rehabilitation.
He said: ‘We are a nation of animal lovers and this has caused a lot of anger in the whole community.
‘He lost control and acted in blind rage. We all to some extent sometimes lose control and regret it.
‘Mr McLoughlin has done that in a significant way and will have to live with that. However, he has not done it because he is depraved, he has done it because he is a deeply troubled individual.’
McLaughlin pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at a previous hearing.
Judge Stephen Nichols said: ‘Taking everything into account this warrants an immediate custodial sentence. This was a savage attack on Lexi.’
Michelle Sheriff, who led the animal rights campaign, said: ‘Lexi needed a voice and we were here for her. These things cannot be tolerated.
‘I would have liked to have seen him get more but it’s better than no prison at all.’
Graham Hammond, an RSPCA officer who investigated the case, said: ‘The man has a history of lashing out and we now feel we have got justice for that dog.
‘It sends a message to other people that these animals are protected and you need to look after them.
‘Any abuse to an animal is shocking especially when it leads to a death like this.
‘I suppose in some ways it is even more sad that it is a younger animal but whenever an pet is murdered it is incredibly shocking.’
Elisa Allen, a spokesman for fellow animal rights charity PETA, added: ‘Anyone capable of beating a puppy to death is likely to pose a serious threat to all living, feeling beings.
‘While PETA is relieved that this man is banned from keeping animals for life, it’s imperative that, in addition to his incarceration, he undergo counselling.
‘His anger-management and other psychological issues need to be addressed before he’s released back into society.’
McLoughlin was also told to pay a £115 victim surcharge.
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