Man gets pet ban for 20 years after Staffy was hit by slow train at station

A man who let his dog roam off-leash at a train station where she was hit by a slow train has been banned from keeping animals for 20 years.

Cameron Casson was also handed an eight-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months after a court heard how his 10-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier was injured in the incident at Bare station Lane, near Morecambe, on July 19 last year.

It was also discovered that the dog, called Cali, had suffered broken ribs in the previous month, for which Casson had not sought veterinary attention.

On the station platform, an eyewitness reported seeing the accused hitting his pet.

She was later picked up by a dog sitter and taken to a vet in Lancaster, where she was treated for injuries to her back and tail and bruises around her eye. There was also evidence that his fur was contaminated with oil.

The RSPCA launched an investigation and Casson, 22, of Cross Gill, Rylands, Lancaster, admitted two charges of causing the dog unnecessary suffering and one of failing to ensure the animal’s needs were satisfied and appeared at Blackburn Magistrates Court to be sentenced on May 24.

In a court statement, an eyewitness said she held the dog, which had no collar or leash, on the platform and returned it to the owner.

But later she spotted him yelling and insulting his pet.

She said Casson tried to tie a jumper around the dog’s neck to “use it as a leash.”

She said: “The dog seemed reluctant to follow him, so he grabbed the dog by the scruff of the neck and tried to drag her along the station platform.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Another eyewitness said he saw the dog punched in the face and head three or four times with “force”.

Cali was found hours later on a public footpath in Hest Bank.

In his expert report, veterinarian Dr Sean Taylor said the dog’s lacerations and oil contamination were consistent with her being hit by a slow moving train.

X-rays showed two bilateral rib fractures, which the surgeon said were suffered in mid to late June 2021.

The defendant had claimed he did not know how they could have been caused, other than the dog “falling off a swing”.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Dr Taylor concluded: “The rib fractures indicate that Cali suffered high force focal blunt trauma to both sides of the chest.

“Although they did not occur on July 19, it is highly likely that these injuries were due to physical abuse considering the defendant’s lack of a reasonable explanation as to how these broken bones could have happened accidentally.”

RSPCA inspector Amy McIntosh said in her witness statement that Casson admitted to slapping her dog for trying to get back on the train.

The inspector said he told her, “You can’t do now for slapping a dog.”

She said: “The dog got off the train with him and then got back up and he chased the dog and he ended up on the tracks.”

As a mitigation, the court was told that Casson suffered from mental health issues and lacked maturity.

He was also told to pay a victim surcharge of £128.

Since her ordeal, Cali has made leaps and bounds in caring for kennels whose staff will soon find their loving new owners.

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