Preston man disqualified from having pets after being filmed attacking dogs (Warning: distressing images)

A man who was witnessed physically abusing four Staffordshire bull terriers has been banned from keeping animals for six years.

By Stef Hall
Saturday, 15th August 2020, 7:00 am

Pet dogs Trinity, Harley, Quinn and Petrol were heard yelping by a neighbour as Steven Klein, 51, hit, kicked and threw things at them.

Preston Magistrates' Court heard a witness's flat overlooks a communal area where Klein, who owns Harley, his girlfriend Melanie Harding - owner of Trinity and Quinn - and their lodger Kelly Oldham, Petrol's owner, keep their dogs.

The neighbour reported she had seen and filmed Klein, of Rowan Avenue, Ribbleton, losing his temper, shouting and swearing at the dogs and being physically abusive on an "almost daily basis" and reported it to Gateway Housing, which in turn reported it to the RSPCA.

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Klein was filmed hitting digs with a broom

Prosecuting, Paul Ridehalgh said: "She has observed the dogs cry out after being hurt and they appear scared of Mr Klein."

Videos show Klein kicking a lighter coloured dog, which ran away lame in the right hind leg, holding another dog down and forcibly slapping it, and swiping at a dog with the broom, hitting its head.

Further video evidence shows Klein pick up a ball and throw it forcefully at a dog, into its side, as it tries to run past.

In May 2019 the dogs were seized and the three defendants interviewed.

One of the dogs he mistreated

In interview Klein claimed that he would use a stick to "control" the dogs and after being shown the video clips he claimed that he was "just playing" with the dogs.

He denied failing to ensure their needs were met by failing to protect them from suffering but was found guilty after a trial.

The bench at Preston Magistrates' Court ordered him to pay a £240 fine, £30 surcharge and £300 costs.

Melanie Harding, 48, and Oldham, 21, were banned from keeping animals for four years and must pay £300 costs each.

The pets were seized by the RSPCA

Harding must pay a £120 fine and Oldham must pay a £60 fine

The court accepted they are vulnerable and were both of previous good character.