A WIRRAL man who subjected a four-month-old puppy to an act of 'shocking brutality' that left it with injuries so horrific it had to be put down has been jailed.

Shaun Cottrell admitted causing unnecessary suffering to his Staffordshire bull terrier cross "Dexter."

He had previously denied inflicting trauma and physical abuse on the dog, but later changed his plea to guilty.

The 22-year-old, of Park Road South, Birkenhead also admitted failing to provide proper and necessary veterinary care and attention following the beating.

He had initially claimed that the injuries had been caused after a television fell over and onto 'Dexter' Magistrates sentenced him to 14 weeks for each offence, running concurrently, and he was banned from keeping animals for life.

Cottrell was told by the bench: “We are sentencing you for an act of shocking brutality on a defenceless animal. We have looked at other options for sentence, but only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”

Chris Murphy, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told the court the charges related to an incident on December 22 last year.

He said a witness had been visiting relatives in the flat below Cottrell’s when he overheard what he believed to be an assault.

Mr Murphy said: “At 4pm in the afternoon the RSPCA witness was talking to someone in the communal stairwell when he heard blows and screaming coming from the flat.”

“He was aware that there was a four-month-old dog there and was concerned and went up to the property.

“He stated ‘I could hear you beating the dog’ and the defendant said he had hit the dog once because it had been misbehaving. The witness then rang the RSPCA.”

An inspector from the animal charity attended on Christmas Eve and found the dog in a poor state with injuries to its head, neck and left eye.

Officers were concerned for the animal’s welfare as both its eyes were blood red. They felt it had suffered so the dog was seized.

He had initially claimed that the injuries had been caused after a television fell over and onto ‘Dexter’.

Mr Murphy said: "On examination by a veterinary surgeon, Dexter was discovered to have suffered “multiple trauma to the head” and the prognosis was deemed "extremely poor".

“It was shown that the dog was just walking around in circles completely unaware of where it was or what it was doing. As a result of the dog had to be euthanised."

Further examination discovered a blood clot on the dog’s brain which was said to be between one and two days old.

Sinead Fearon, defending, said Cottrell was “extremely sorry for the harm he put his dog through. It was unintended.”

Cottrell pleaded guilty at Wirral Magistrates on July 31 and the sentence was adjourned for consideration of an "all-options report."

Following the hearing, RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes told the Globe: "This was a sickening, stomach-churning attack on a young Staffordshire puppy.

“I am pleased that Cottrell has paid the price by losing his liberty.

“I’m also grateful to the court for barring Mt Cottrell from ever coming into contact with an animal again.

“I hope the sentence sends a clear message that we will not tolerate this brutal behaviour in today’s society.”