Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18732
Classification: Beating, Kicking/Stomping
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011


Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 2 files available

Defendant/Suspect: Jonathan Bloomfield

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A 36-YEAR-OLD man appeared in court today charged with two counts of animal cruelty, after video footage appearing to capture a dog being abused was posted on Facebook.

It comes as Stanley Street resident Michael Currie, 23, who posted the online video allegedly showing a dog being abused has defended his actions - despite police launching an investigation into whether it incited an angry mob to gather.

As reported, crowds gathered outside a house in Stanley Street, Grimsby, where a window was smashed and a man allegedly assaulted after the video went viral.

The footage, which appears to show a Staffordshire bull terrier dog being beaten, was first posted on the social networking site between 5pm and 6pm on Tuesday.

Mr Currie, who said he filmed it, claims he posted the footage in an attempt to get more people to "report it" and "get something done".

The video appears to show a dog being beaten with a stick, whipped with a tea-towel and grabbed by the scruff of the neck by a man, who then seems to punch the animal twice.

Mr Currie claims that he "never asked anyone to hit someone or smash a window" when he posted the video, but he has now removed his original post on the advice of the police.

He said: "Something had to be done.

"I posted the video so people would report it. I have had hundreds of friend requests and messages since - I cannot keep track of them.

"I am not pleased about the possible assault or the smashed window, but I am pleased with the result - an arrest has been made and the dog is safe."

A spokesman from the RSPCA said the charity received "hundreds of calls" from concerned members of the public who had viewed the footage.

Humberside Police also confirmed officers had been called to Stanley Street following reports that a mob had gathered.

Officers are now investigating who is responsible for criminal damage to the window and the possible assault. They are also working with the RSPCA to investigate the alleged animal cruelty.

The animal has since been treated by vets at the Blue Cross Animal Hospital, in Grimsby's Nelson Street, who described it as being "shaken".

Manager Antony Hall, said: "This poor dog was clearly shaken when he was brought to The Blue Cross to be checked over by our vets."

Meanwhile, Jamie Balderson, 27 - a friend of Mr Currie - told the Grimsby Telegraph he has launched a complaint against the police as he claims that he called them at about 6.20pm and was told to report the issue to the RSPCA, which he did.

Mr Balderson said: "Everything that happened in Stanley Street could have been avoided if they had acted on my complaint promptly."

A Humberside Police spokesman confirmed the complaint has been made and "directed to the relevant authority".

The angry crowd that gathered in Stanley Street included resident Sophie Williamson, 17, and her sister Sarah, 24, of Freeston Street.

Sophie said: "I saw the first ten seconds of the video, but couldn't watch any more, it made me sick to my stomach."

Terry Robins, 33, said he believed at least 50 people had descended on the street.

He said: "Someone has put a window through. It's a good job the police got there when they did."

The police spokesman said: "Officers attended the area quickly and took robust action, arresting a 36-year-old in connection with alleged animal cruelty offences and removing a dog.

An investigation is now under way into the alleged animal cruelty and the disorder.

"We are also keen to establish if the disorder was a direct result of something that was posted online or if those who read the information took matters into their own hands."

Anyone with information relating to either incident should call Humberside Police on 0845 6060222 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting log 593 of October 18.

Grimsby Magistrates' Court was told how Jonathan Bloomfield, 36, of Stanley Street, Grimsby, is temporarily moving to Owen Way, London to live with this mother.

He was granted bail and will next appear in court on November 10.


Case Updates

A Grimsby man whose house was besieged by an angry mob after footage of him subjecting his dog to violent abuse was posted on Facebook is "still getting threats" according to his family.

Jonathan Bloomfield, 36, formerly of Stanley Street, Grimsby, was yesterday banned from keeping dogs for 15 years after admitting two counts of animal cruelty.

Appearing before Grimsby magistrates, he pleaded guilty to failing to protect Butch - and 18-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier - and causing unnecessary suffering to the dog by hitting it with an object, punching and kicking it.

At his first appearance before the court, Bloomfield was ordered to move to his mother's home in Brent Park, London to protect him from public outrage.

And, according to his sister, threats of violence were still coming through the door up to yesterday's hearing.

Bloomfield was arrested on October 18, after neighbor, Michael Currie, 23, posted a video of the abuse on Facebook - and the film went viral.

Grimsby magistrates were warned the footage " filmed between September 9 and October 18 - contained "disturbing" images, before it was played to the court.

It showed Butch - who vets said may have always had sight problems or even be blind - whimpering and cowering as Bloomfield punched it twice in the face and told it to "shut the **** up".

Prosecuting, Brendan Woodward said: "The most important image is where he clearly comes outside and punches the dog twice to the head.

"We have seen the action and the actions are not a proper way of controlling a dog. Every time that door opened, the dog was not wagging his tail waiting to come in, it was in fear. You can see that in the reaction of the animal."

Bloomfield claimed Butch had bitten his three-year-old son's hand when it took a packet of crisps from him, adding he was stressed from work and was "sick of the dog barking".

However, Bloomfield denied any involvement in the footage showing Butch being repeatedly hit with a pole, which was accepted by the prosecution because the person doing it is standing behind a door and cannot be seen on camera.

Magistrates also heard Bloomfield had come under attack after refusing to hand Butch over to a man who came to his door, who then hit him in the face.

A short time later an "angry mob" gathered outside Bloomfield's house and smashed his window, before police were called to the scene.

Bloomfield was arrested and his partner, Michelle Watson, and their son and one-year-old daughter, were forced to flee their home by social services, who told them if they didn't both children would be taken into care.

Butch was taken into the care of the RSPCA.

Mitigating, Steven Freestone told how Bloomfield and his partner had been trying to train Butch.

He said: "On that particular day, crisps were taken from his son. He said his dog had bitten his son's hand to get the crisps so he took the dog outside.

"He lost his temper and things came to a head. He went into the back garden and acted the way he did. He accepts his behaviour was absolutely inappropriate and not the way to treat an animal.

"Because of his actions, which he realises were disgusting, he has lost his house and his family have had to move away from the area. It has been a massive disruption to his life and his family."

Banning Bloomfield from owning a dog for 15 years, bench chairman, David Stenton said: "It is pretty clear to everyone this is an awful case of animal cruelty.

"The dog was clearly very frightened and had been subjected to violence over a period of time. Weapons were used, including piping and fists.

"We know you received some rough justice and we don't condone that."

He was also ordered to complete 260 hours of unpaid work and pay £100 costs.
Source: thisisgrimsby.co.uk - Nov 25, 2011
Update posted on Nov 25, 2011 - 10:30AM 

References

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