A New Zealander who fatally stabbed his neighbour’s dog during an early morning fracas in Perth has been jailed for seven months.
Bullet the bull mastiff was stabbed in the head, shoulder and torso during an early morning fracas between Silo Sagote and his neighbours in Redcliffe on January 27 last year.
The dog was treated at a veterinary hospital but went into cardiac arrest the next day and died after 25 minutes of resuscitation efforts.
Perth Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday that Sagote sought to find his housemate’s lost dog Terror by searching with the neighbours’ other dog Chloe, who was on heat.
The neighbours, including a woman who was three months’ pregnant, came to collect Chloe around 1am but were confronted by an irate Sagote, who brandished kitchen knifes, shouted and demanded she leave.
After he pushed the front door hard, making the woman fall, the neighbours unleashed Bullet, wh o ran up to defend her.
“At no time did he growl or bark,” the police prosecutor said.
Sagote’s defence lawyer said his client didn’t recognise the neighbours, who weren’t Bullet’s “direct owner”, but he knew the dog well.
“Mr Sagote is a dog lover,” the lawyer said.
“He’s walked Bullet in the past, he’s fed Bullet in the past.”
There was “confusion” at the doorway and Sagote, a former professional rugby union player, was very sad the dog died, the lawyer said.
The prosecutor said Sagote’s home was searched after the incident and there were no signs he had been preparing food, which he initially claimed was the reason he was holding knives.
He later admitted in a police interview that he’d lied.
Magistrate Elizabeth Woods said it was “a bit odd” Sagote took the knives to the front door.
“My difficulty is he knows the dogs,” she said.
“It is, in my view, a very violent offence … and an unnecessary attack on the dog,” magistrate Elizabeth Woods said.
“He could have shut the door.”
Sagote, who smoked cannabis that night, was due to stand trial on one of his two charges on Wednesday but changed his plea to guilty after receiving legal advice.
His sentence was backdated to take into account six weeks he spent in custody for breaching bail and he will be eligible for parole.