Ruff justice: Dog owner fined for throwing man into the Firth of Forth in row over puppy
A dog-lover who threw an angler into the sea after claiming the man kicked his puppy has been ordered to pay compensation.
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Anthony Kearney grabbed hold of Steven Raeburn by the shirt and launched him over rocks into the choppy waters of the Firth of Forth.
Kearney, 56, believed Mr Raeburn had kicked his Golden Retriever and acted violently in retaliation during the incident at the capital’s Granton in July 2019.
The fisherman denied he had kicked the pooch and said he was just stopping the dog raiding his bag full of fish.
Details of the unusual assault case were heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court as Kearney pleaded guilty to assault.
Sheriff Frank Crowe said the attack was “a totally disproportionate reaction” and sentenced Kearney to pay the angler £1000 in compensation.
Prosecutor Alan Wickham told the court Mr Raeburn was fishing at the breakwater at Granton Harbour in Edinburgh at around 3.45pm on July 16, 2019.
The sea angler spotted Kearney and friend walk towards him with the pup off its lead.
The dog made for Mr Raeburn’s fishing bag and he stepped in between the pet and his bag to stop it eating his catch.
Kearney then confronted Mr Raeburn, of Dunbar, East Lothian, believing he had kicked the dog away from his bag.
Mr Wickham said: “The accused grabbed Mr Raeburn by the t-shirt and both began to struggle.
“The accused pushed the complainer off the breakwater over the rocks and into the water.
“Mr Raeburn climbed out of the water and was hanging onto the rocks.
“The accused grabbed him again and pushed him off the rocks.”
Mr Raeburn suffered “back abrasions” after landing in what was said to be “shallow water” and Kearney and his pal walked away.
The court also heard Kearney took the fisherman’s phone, which was later found nearby.
Solicitor Nicola Haston, defending, said her unemployed client had reacted badly after “hearing his dog yelp” and believed the angler had kicked his pet.
Ms Haston added: “He completely just lost it and should not have acted that way.
“He just saw red and acted in a manner that was unacceptable.”