Puppy torturer gets record sentence

A young man who “sadistically” tortured and killed a tiny puppy has received the longest sentence ever handed down for animal cruelty in Sweden.

The nine-week-old dog, whose body was found by pre-school children earlier in 2011, was badly beaten by the 22 year-old Stockholmer and finally suffocated with a plastic bag.

”As far as I know, a court has never before sentenced anyone to such a long term in prison for cruelty to animals in Sweden before,” prosecutor Jakob Holmberg told news agency TT.

The court heard how the man had bought the puppy as a companion but neglected it, locking it in his cellar and bathroom. When the animal got caught short, he became angry and beat it with its lead and his fists.

The puppy finally died when the man, who claimed he was upset and had taken his anger out on the dog, put a plastic bag over its head and wrapped a blanket around its body.

The prosecution called for the maximum punishment of two years in jail. ”It was very sadistically done,” Annika Oljeqvist of the south Stockholm police, told TV4 News at the time. ”If a human had been killed in a similar way, the prosecutor would have demanded 18 years or life in prison.”

The man was, however, only sentenced to 15 months behind bars; but the ruling is still believed to be the longest jail term ever handed down in the country for an animal cruelty offence.

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