Yob who booted dog ‘like a rugby ball’ says pal switched pet for a ‘joke’

A man "booted" a dog "like a rugby ball" and threatened a woman who tried to intervene.

Michael Lee, from Heywood claimed to have been trying to train the bull mastiff, Chunk, for "protection" by raising his leg towards him in Queen's Park, Heywood, reports Manchester Evening News.

Bolton Magistrates' Court heard the 47-year-old denied making any contact with the animal yet told a witness that he would "smash her face" in and drown her if she stepped in.

READ MORE: Mum savaged to death by pet dogs in horror attack as husband fought to save her

The horrified onlooker described Lee's actions as "like a kick a rugby player would perform to get the ball over the post."

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The animal "yelped in pain" and cowered, said the woman, who then approached Lee and asked if she could buy the dog from him.

But in a bizarre court room scene, Lee claimed he realised the dog wasn't in fact Chunk, when it did not react to his actions and that his friend switched Chunk with his near-identical dog, also called Chunk, for 'a bit of a joke',

The magistrate rejected Lee's version of events and found him guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

They also found him guilty of common assault, in relation to the threats of violence he made towards a woman.

Police detained Lee, who was still with the dog. Body-worn footage played in court showed Lee being aggressive with officers.

He told them "he's not my dog", but when an officer took control of Chunk's lead, Lee grabbed at it and shouted: "I want my f****** dog back". Lee then called the officers 'a bunch of w*****s' as they arrested him.

Lee told the court that he had cared for up to 20 dogs in his life time and had trained every single one, adding: "I have a rope lead, he has it in mouth and I’m tugging as I’m going along, it’s how I train him to carry his lead."

"I looked at him to see if there was anything wrong and looked at him in the eyes. One of his eyes were white. My Chunky has clear eyes."

It was at this moment, Lee claimed, that he realised that it wasn't his dog. He said: "Someone had switched the dog, my mate had been taking the p***, basically.

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"I know how it sounds but my mate's had a bit of a joke. The litter Chunk came from, there were three dogs that looked exactly the same.

"My mate’s dog is called Chunk as well but he wasn’t my Chunk."

Lee admitted to 'saying a few horrible things' to the woman, but claimed that it was because she was 'distressing' him by following him.

He will be sentenced at Tameside Magistrates' Court on August 15.


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