Edinburgh crime news: Man sentenced to 300 hours community service after being found guilty of acts of cruelty towards his Staffordshire bull terrier cross dog, Roxy

A man from the Capital has been given community services after being found guilty of beating his dog.

By Rachel Mackie
Monday, 27th June 2022, 11:03 am
Updated Monday, 27th June 2022, 11:03 am

John Haxton, 29, previously of Murrayburn Green was charged under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and has been given a 300 hour community payback order and a five year ban on keeping or owning animals.

Haxton was reported to the Scottish SPCA in 2018 by people who saw him kicking or abusing his Staffordshire bull terrier cross dog, Roxy in public, as well as some who heard noises from inside his home suggesting he was beating the dog.

The charity investigated, but as there was no signs of abuse on the dog, they had to let him go with a warning.

However, in May 2020, members of the public had to intervene when Haxton badly beat Roxy.

Roxy was bleeding from the eye, had cuts across her body and her neck had significant swelling. She was very distressed and was urinating blood.

The charity was again involved and a representative, Inspector Fiona Thorburn, met the members of the public at the vet where they had taken the dog.

The vet found numerous injuries on Roxy which suggested recent trauma including central blindness.

Edinburgh crime news: Man sentenced to 300 hours community service after being found guilty of acts of cruelty towards his Staffordshire bull terrier cross dog, Roxy

At that time, the vet determined that her vision would likely not return. Roxy was required to stay at the hospital for 24 hours before she was transferred in to the care of the Scottish SPCA.

Further examination found that Roxy also had arthritis and a serious hip injury.

These conditions, as well as her recent injuries and blindness, were causing her immense pain and suffering. The sad decision was made to put Roxy to sleep on welfare grounds.

Inspector Thorburn commented: “The post-mortem showed that there had been bleeding to Roxy’s eyes for at least two days. The bleeding is generally associated with trauma to the eye and, in this case, to both of Roxy’s eyes. Her retinae were detached at least three days before her death which supports claims that Roxy was regularly beaten by Haxton.

“The vet concluded that Roxy had been caused severe unnecessary suffering as a result of the beating she received on 2 May 2020 and that the injuries sustained were a result of blunt trauma to her face, head and abdomen. She would have been caused immeasurable physical and mental pain and she was left terrified and anxious of human contact.

“We liaised with the vet Roxy was registered with and found that earlier in 2020, she had been kicked so badly that she suffered a dislocated hip.

“This is a very harrowing case and one that will stay with me and, I’m sure, everyone involved. The level of suffering inflicted on Roxy in Haxton’s care is unimaginable. She was put to sleep as a direct result of Haxton’s actions.

“We are extremely disappointed given the severity of the injuries Haxton inflicted on Roxy that he did not receive a lengthier ban or custodial sentence. Haxton had opportunities to relinquish ownership of his dog were he not coping but he refused and instead her suffering continued.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to the two members of the public who witnessed Haxton beating Roxy in public and removed her from his care.”

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