Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17167
Classification: Beating
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Judge(s): Ernie Quantz

Saturday, Jan 1, 2011

Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Brent Malcolm Connors

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A 24-year-old Victoria man has been arrested for allegedly beating to death a three-month-old puppy in a downtown motel suite early Saturday morning.

At 1 a.m., just as people were ringing in the New Year, Victoria police were called to a Traveller's Inn after motel guests reported hearing a dog crying out in pain and what sounded like someone beating it in one of the suites.

When the officers arrived, they found the puppy, a three-month-old pit bull, motionless on the bed, dog feces and bloody towels all over the suite, according to Victoria police spokesman Sgt. Grant Hamilton.

"They were quite disturbed by what they found." he said. "To comprehend that someone would do this to an animal is quite shocking."

The man, who was alone in the suite, was arrested.

Two more police officers arrived on scene to rush the puppy to a 24-hour veterinary hospital, but the dog could not be saved.

An autopsy showed the dog had been severely beaten and died of internal injuries and multiple fractures, Hamilton said.

The man had been looking after the dog for someone else, Hamilton said. The owner has been notified.

Officers cordoned off the suite and at 8:30 a.m., searched it. No weapon was recovered, but police did find drugs and steroids.

Police are recommending charges of killing an animal and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, along with four counts of violating previous court orders. They are also asking for a psychiatric remand.

Hamilton said in recent memory he can't recall investigating a crime like this.

The man is known to police and was on bail at the time for other offenses.

The man appeared before a justice of the peace via telebail Saturday afternoon. He will be held in custody until his court hearing on Tuesday for a bail hearing.

Case Updates

The packed, tiny courtroom sighed collectively as a provincial court judged sentenced the man who killed a puppy on New Year's Day and banned him from owning an animal for a decade.

In one of the longest sentences handed down for animal cruelty in Canada, Justice Ernie Quantz Wednesday ordered Brent Malcolm Connors, 24, spend six months in jail for cruelty for the three-month pit bull named Bandit, plus another 30 days for breaching previous court orders. The sentences are to be served concurrently.

Connors is not allowed to own, care for, or live with an animal for 10 years.

"(Connors') actions remain largely unexplained and there are no signs of significant remorse, although much to his credit, the offender has accepted responsibility through his early guilty plea," Quantz said, reading his judgment.

This is not a case of justice served, said Andrew Theise, 25. He and a group of animal lovers formed a group called Justice for Bandit, which gathered thousands of signatures on a petition asking for a stiff penalty against Connors.

The petition was delivered to the court, but Quantz said his judgment reflects respect for the law, not a bowing to pressure from the public.

"That's pretty ridiculous," Theise said after the sentencing. "There's so many Victorians backing this (petition) up. The only person who isn't is Brent Connors and the judge."

Theise said Justice for Bandit sought a sentence closer to the maximum " 18 months.

"I don't know what you have to do to a dog to get the max sentence," he said.

Before the sentence was handed down, Connors addressed Quantz, saying, "I'm sorry this happened. It's really affected me. I hope this never happens again to any animal."

While Quantz delivered his judgment, Connors hung his head low. The gallery was mostly quiet, except a sigh upon hearing the 10-year ban against owning an animal. Some in the audience cried while Quantz read out the details of previous animal cruelty cases and their sentences.

Quantz gave Connors the minimum credit for the one month he served in custody pre-trial at one-to-one, meaning he will serve five more months behind bars at Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre. Afterwards, he will serve two months on probation and cannot have non-prescription drugs, firearms or knives, must complete counseling and provide DNA samples, as well as work 75 hours of community service.

Quantz came to his decision by weighing Connors' guilty plea with "the extreme brutality of the offense and the callous disregard the offender showed for the health and well-being of the young dog ... and the fact the offender appears to have continued the offense after the first neighbor attended to his door, providing him the opportunity to pause and reflect."
Source: - Feb 2, 2011
Update posted on Feb 3, 2011 - 8:37PM 


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