Dog torture accused granted legal aid

Published Thursday, 20 March 2014
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Two men accused of burning a family's dog to death are set to argue for the charges against them thrown out of court, a judge has heard.

Dog torture accused granted legal aid
Cody had to be put down after he suffered horrific injuries. (© UTV)

Solicitors for Jamie Downey and Andrew Richard Stewart, both 22, told Lisburn Magistrates' Court they would be making "no case to answer" applications which if granted, would mean the end of the case.

Downey, from Chestnut Hall Avenue and Stewart, from Wellington Parks, both in Moira, are accused of causing unnecessary suffering to Cody the collie dog on 26 August 2012.

They had been due to be connected to that charge on Thursday and a preliminary enquiry held, potentially committing them to the Crown Court for trial but both were adjourned in light of future defence submissions.

In an incident which caused widespread shock across the region, the three-year-old border collie suffered horrific burns to most of her body when she was doused in petrol and set on fire in the Maghaberry Road area of Moira and tragically, despite vets' best efforts, she had to be put to sleep a week later.

On Thursday District Judge Rosemary Watters granted legal aid to both Downey and Stewart and adjourned the case for two weeks to hear submissions on "no case to answer".

© UTV News
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5 Comments
Lorraine Devlin in Belfast wrote (159 days ago):
This was a horrific atrocity against a defenceless family pet owned by children. There have been too many cases of perpetrators getting away with animal cruelty. As a society people who do these types of acts need to be stopped and receive a just punishment for their crime.
doreen kinnear in Lisburn wrote (159 days ago):
So there may be no case to answer for Cody the collie - that is the saddest thing I have heard for a very long time - the Agnew family have suffered enough - two little boys devastated by the loss of their pet dog. This is a lovely family who are trying to bring their children up properly ad did I - we taught them right from wrong and we taught them if people did bad, wicked and evil things they were punished - but will they be - this is the question. If they are not punished how can any of us have faith in our justice system, when it sets no example for any of us - It's time for change - time for our prehistoric laws on animal cruelty to change. Time we all stood strong against the evil that is amongst us - time for change. Time that animals were cherished and that media focused on helping to re home and to stamp out evil - for media is one of the strongest forms of persuasion we have. If we are not part of the solution then we are a part of the problem. These men have been granted legal aid - to assist them to have ''no case to answer'' yet a beautiful innocent animal was burned to death I think there needs to be an answer - I think we need justice for Cody - and so do thousands of others
ALEXANDRA MARTIN in comber wrote (165 days ago):
at last codys case is coming to court. lets hope this time the judge steps up to the plate and hands out the full sentence for this horrific crime.the people of northern Ireland are sick and tired of cruelty to animals.
John in Newtownabbey wrote (165 days ago):
Legal aid? That means me and other taxpayers are paying for their defence. In that case I demand a refund!
hetty davis in belfast wrote (165 days ago):
Justice for cody gone but not forgotten will the law let us down again
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