A Fife man has been found guilty of beating his pet dog to death during a drunken rage.
Alexander McGhee was convicted at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court yesterday following a lengthy trial.
The 44-year-old claimed his lurcher, named Murray, had ran away from his home in Methil on the night of July 8, 2017, after he accidentally left the door open.
He told investigators he had found the dog’s lifeless body at the side of Swan Brae the following morning and could not explain how he had died.
But a post mortem of the dog, who was named after tennis star Andy Murray, revealed he had suffered injuries consistent with being “hit, kicked or shaken with considerable force”.
Veterinary pathologist, Dr Bryn Tennant, previously told the court the animal had suffered a bleed on the brain similar to those experienced by boxers in the ring.
He said: “The outcome of the post mortem was that this dog had been subjected to multiple traumatic incidents.
“The injuries were spread across the body and the cause of death was the bleeding on the brain.
“The constellation of injuries, in my opinion, were not consistent with a road traffic accident.
“There is a very, very remote possibility that this dog was struck by a vehicle but from what I saw, I do not believe that happened on the basis on my examination.”
He also said the dog did not have any crush injuries or scraped paws which would usually be seen following a collision with a vehicle.
Neighbours of McGhee also gave evidence and described hearing noises like a dog being “thrown against a wall” and an angry male voice shouting.
The couple said they were forced to leave their home after being left distressed by the late night disturbance. They later called the police.
When officers went to McGhee’s home hours later, they found the body of the dog in the boot of a car and observed the owner attempting to hide injuries on his hand.
Police officers described a v-shaped cut on his middle knuckle with reddening extending back up his hand towards his wrist.
They observed him pulling his jumper sleeve over the wound, which he claimed had been caused by him punching a wall in frustration after Murray ran away.
Defence solicitor Scott McKenzie argued that his client had cooperated with police investigating the incident and that there was no conclusive evidence about how the dog had suffered the injuries.
However, Sheriff Alistair Thornton said he was satisfied that McGhee had caused the dog unnecessary suffering by inflicting blunt force trauma and found him guilty.
He deferred sentence to allow for the preparation of background reports and for him to consider imposing a ban on owning animals. McGhee will reappear at a later date.