Thursday, December 09, 2010

Diplomat's son attacked puppy after 'having a bad day'

A diplomat's son viciously kicked and punched a puppy because he was ‘having a bad day’ after not getting a job. Mohammed Abou-Sabaa, a student at Manchester University, was caught on CCTV delivering more than 20 blows to the five-month old Golden Labrador, Poppy. In a final sickening attack, the 21-year-old kicked the dog down a flight of stairs outside his city-centre flat. Animal welfare groups described the assault as despicable. And although magistrates were visibly shocked as they watched a six minute-long video of the attack, they didn't send Abou-Sabaa to jail. He was instead given a six-week sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work. He was also banned from keeping animals for four years.

Poppy has since been nursed back to health and the RSPCA are looking to find her a new home for Christmas. Abou-Sabaa, of Orient House, Granby Row, launched the attack in July after learning he had failed with a job application. He was seen to punch and kick Poppy in a corner near an entrance to his flat complex. He then straddled the cowering puppy and appeared to yank her neck up, before clutching either side of her head and lifting her up against a wall. Abou-Sabaa went on to slap Poppy to the ground before using his knee to launch her down a stairwell.

During the beating, the court heard, Abou-Sabaa also stood on the dog's neck using his full weight. The caretaker contacted the RSPCA after seeing the attack on the CCTV. Abou-Sabaa told investigators ithat he was having a bad day and was training the dog. But David McCormick, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said it was a sustained and brutal attack – a 'wanton and deliberate act of cruelty.' He added: “The defendant was seen wiping sweat from his brow and only stopped the assault when people entered the building and then carried on when they had gone.”

Video contains graphic content.

RSPCA inspector Paul Heaton said: “It was a despicable act. I was incensed when I saw the video – it just went on and on. He said he had applied for a job apparently and had not got it and he was having a bad day. I do not know of any training school that says that smacking a dog is a way of training it.” Abou-Sabaa's father, a Tunisian diplomat, travelled from his home country to hear the case. He said afterwards: “I have had words with my son and my family and I want to apologise for what he did.” Abou-Sabaa, who is studying mechatronics - a combination of engineering elements - was ordered to pay costs totalling £1,000. The court made an order signing Poppy over to the care of the RSPCA, who are looking for new owners for the dog.

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