Man convicted of hurting ex-lover's chihuahua in fit of rage
A JILTED lover has been convicted of severely injuring a chihuahua after he threw the dog to the ground in a fit of rage when his ex-partner rejected him.
Raymond Lyle Roberts, 49, faced Lismore Local Court this week for a hearing into the January 13 incident.
The court heard from two police witnesses who recalled attending the Nimbin property of the dog's owner, Linda Roberts.
Veterinarian John Campbell said the dog, named Lilly-Rose, had a "ruptured eardrum" and "damage to balance centre of the brain".
Mr Campbell said he began "conservative treatment" with medication in a bid to avoiding harming the dog further.
He said a "young girl" - believed to be the granddaughter of the accused and Ms Roberts - brought the dog to him and was "upfront" that she had no money to pay for treatment.
He said the chihuahua's injuries were "definitely consistent with something very traumatic".
Prosecutor Jodie Millar argued, through Ms Roberts' testimony, the accused threw the dog to the ground in a rage after being rejected by her.
The court heard the two had been in a relationship "as teens".
But defence solicitor Tom Saunders said this was at odds with her account to police, which was recorded on video, on the day of the incident.
In the video, which was played in court, Ms Roberts tells police the accused "dropped" the dog.
She said the defendant said: "you love this f***ing dog more than your grandchildren" before Lilly-Rose fell to the ground.
Roberts claimed he had become angry after asking to rekindle a long-defunct relationship - a proposal which she rejected.
She said Lilly-Rose had largely recovered from the injury but was "not the same" and was "slow" since the incident.
But when he took to the stand, Roberts said his ex-partner had been acting in an abusive manner toward their granddaughter before he grabbed the dog by the scruff of her neck.
"I love the dog," Roberts said.
"I was trying to make a point.
"When I was about to get up and leave she (knocked items off) the table and I lost my bananas".
Mr Saunders argued his client never meant to hurt the dog.
"There was no intention to hurt the animal," he said.
Magistrate Jeff Linden said he was "not satisfied" with a previous charge of aggravated animal cruelty, as the dog's condition had significantly improved when Mr Campbell saw her again on January 15.
But he convicted Roberts of the lesser charge of animal cruelty.
"The dog was in significant pain," Mr Linden said.
He noted Mr and Ms Roberts had both consumed a "substantial quantity of alcohol" before their altercation.
He said regardless of the specifics of the situation, there was "no other hypothesis" than that the dog was injured that night.
Roberts, who is on carer's benefits, was given a 12-month good behaviour bond.
Mr Linden also granted a two-year apprehended violence order against Roberts.