A DAD has admitted causing suffering to his dog - but has been cleared of stabbing the pet in the face after a key witness failed to turn up at court.
Scott Campbell, aged 26, had denied a charge of stabbing or slicing the tan-coloured Shar Pei crossbreed, called Chico, in the face with a knife.
The dog had been found with multiple stab wounds to its face and the side of its head.
But the only witness who had been called to give evidence over the alleged incident on March 16 this year did not turn up to the hearing at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.
An application to adjourn the case so that she could be summoned to attend was turned down.
And, after no evidence was offered, the charge was dropped.
Campbell, of Wensley Street in Grimesthorpe, Sheffield, had already admitted two lesser charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
He pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide veterinary care for the dog’s entropia - a painful eye condition - and associated corneal ulcers between 2010 and 2012.
He also admitted failing to meet its need for a suitable diet between February 24 and March 16 this year.
Brian Orsborne, prosecutor for the RSPCA, said a vet had found the dog in a ‘poor’ condition, scoring 1.5 for its weight out of a possible five.
He added: “Both eyes were sunken and it was thought possible the eyelids were inverted towards the eyeball.”
There was also a ‘deep corneal ulcer’ as a result of the entropia which the vet thought had been present for ‘at least 10 days’.
Defending, Simon Gwynne, said Campbell had owned the eight-year-old dog since it was a puppy.
He knew such dogs could suffer eye conditions, so had bathed Chico’s eyes when they previously became runny. He believed the situation would ‘resolve itself’.
Mr Gwynne said Campbell had moved back in with his mother after a relationship with his ex broke down.
He was not seeing his son, and had been convicted of assault against his former partner at the time.
He added: “At the time of these offences coming to light he had not been in a ‘good place’ himself for a number of reasons. Although he had fed the dog himself on numerous times I think it’s right to say he had left it to mum, who was quite used to doing it but suffering from ill health at the time, having had an operation.”
Mr Gwynne said Campbell knew it was ‘his dog and his responsibility’.
“But he was neglecting himself and not aware of much what was going on around him,” he said.
The hearing was adjourned for pre-sentence reports. Campbell was given unconditional bail until court again in August.