A WIRRAL man accused of dumping a dog with chronic arthritis in a cemetery has received a four week jail sentence suspended for two years.
Gordon Roach, 41 of Dundonald Street, pleaded guilty to the charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a cross breed called Elmo.
Appearing in court via a video link from prison where he is currently serving a 31-month custodial sentence for burglary, Roach spoke only to confirm his address and plea.
Last week, his co-accused and owner of "Elmo", Linda Clark received a three-month suspended sentence for her part in the dog ill health.
Roach was a friend of Clark’s son at the time and offered to help after she became unable to care for Elmo, who had a series of serious health conditions.
Chris Murphy, who prosecuted on behalf of the RSPCA, told court how Roach promised Clark he would take Elmo to the nearest RSPCA centre to receive treatment.
He collected Elmo in a shopping trolley and panicked then instead left Elmo at Birkenhead Flaybrick
Cemetery in January.
Chris Murphy added X-rays showed Elmo suffered with a chronic bone condition and poly arthritis meaning his bones were crumbling and Elmo was left unable to walk.
The court heard that ten-year-old crossbreed was found by a member of the public.
The dog's condition was so bad he had to be put to sleep.
Anna Duke, defending told magistrates her client felt “deeply ashamed” and at the time he had his own dogs so realises he should have known better.
The court originally handed Roach a six-week custodial sentence, but this was reduced to four weeks because he had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
The ordeal of 14-year-old Elmo was reported across the nation.
Speaking after sentencing, Wirral RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: “Roach collected poor Elmo using a shopping trolley and said to the owner he would deliver the dog to the RSPCA.
“He then decided to dump him in the cemetery in an area where he was unlikely to be found.
“Elmo was in a collapsed state and could quite easily have died overnight. He would have been cold, alone and in immense pain wondering what was happening.”
He added: “At the moment roach took control of the dog that was at the point in law he became responsible for his welfare and the decision he made of what to do with this completely helpless dog is simply appalling.
“I am just glad that he was spotted and that he was shown compassion and care in his final moments.
“Roach would not have even faced magistrates if it was not for the public.”
“This case infuriated animal lovers across Merseyside and the rest of the country and it was only due to information received from the public that allowed us to progress the investigation so thanks to them.”