Midlothian thug jailed for stabbing, stamping and beating a hedgehog to death

A sadist who stabbed and stamped a harmless hedgehog to death has been jailed for 20 months.

By Alexander Lawrie
Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 2:13 pm

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Cruel Niall Sheriden also battered the defenceless animal with a pool cue and a ‘wet floor’ safety sign during the horrific 20 minute attack at a homeless unit in Loanhead, Midlothian.

The 22-year-old thug then threatened police officers he would “slit their throats” and target their families following his arrest earlier this year.

Behind bars: Cruel Niall Sheriden stabbed, stamped and bludgeoned a hedgehog to death.

A postmortem conducted by a vet found the hedgehog likely endured “significant and unnecessary pain and suffering” and its death had not been instantaneous.

Sheriden appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court by video link from Low Moss prison last month where he pled guilty to a number of charges including causing a protected animal unnecessary suffering before killing it.

He was returned to the dock and defence solicitor David Storrie, told the court Sheriden was high on a mixture of drink and drugs at the time.

The court heard he had consumed an “alarming amount of vodka and Buckfast” as well as Valium before the incident.

The lawyer added Sheriden is now clean of drugs due to being on remand and the period of custody has “done him the power of good”.

But Sheriff Daniel Kelly told Sheriden he had committed a “cruel and prolonged” attack on the animal and had “caused significant injuries and ultimately its death”.

He added: “It does have to be recognised that this was horrific, and a horrific way to treat an animal.

“You were admitted to Kilbreck House and you did go out and return with the hedgehog so there is some intent there.”

Sheriden, from Gorebridge, Midlothian, was jailed for 20 months and banned from owning or keeping any animal for the next 10 years.

Last month the court was told the shocking incident was captured on CCTV and showed Sheriden and a friend “play fighting” at KIlbreck House in Loanhead, Midlothian, on July 12 this year.

Fiscal depute Jack Caster said Sheriden left the homeless accommodation just after midnight and returned “a short time later carrying a hedgehog” wrapped in his hoodie.

The court was told the hedgehog was then “thrown down the corridor” Sheriden was seen to have “approached the hedgehog and kicked it a number of times”.

Mr Caster said: “Mr Sheriden is then observed running up to hedgehog and stomping on it twice.

“Mr Sheriden pushes the second male away and runs up the hedgehog and stamps on it a further 10 times.”

The shocking footage then showed Sheriden with a knife and he was seen to “strike the hedgehog approximately 10 times” before bludgeoning it with a ‘wet floor’ warning cone and a pool cue.

Throughout the footage Sheriden is seen to “run back and forth up the corridor stamping hard on the hedgehog as he does this.”

Both men also took pictures of each other on a mobile phone and were described as “laughing and joking”.

A vet found the hedgehog sustained two fractured legs, massive abdominal damage and other horrorific injuries.

Police were called by concerned staff at the unit and officers were forced to restrain Sheridan using handcuffs, leg restraints and a spit hood.

The court heard he shouted threats including saying he would “slit their throats” and “harm their families”.

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