Jade Wilkinson, the two dogs’ owner, had to wrestle the tainted sausage away from her pets after neighbour Michael Moore threw it over the fence in July last year. The pair had been in embroiled in a row over a boundary wall for 18 months prior to the incident.
Michael was caught on CCTV throwing the sausage, covered in white powder and green paste, over the fence before walking back into his house in Gordon Street, Southport.
Thankfully, Jade was able to stop her dogs – a German Shepherd called Miles and a Belgian Shepherd called Storm – from eating it.
Andrew Page, prosecuting, told Liverpool Magistrates’ Court: “It was a piece of sausage covered in a white powder and green paste. She googled what it might be and thought it might be slug pellets.”
Jade, a mum-of-three, checked her CCTV footage where she found Mr Moore throwing the sausage over the fence at 3:26am that morning.
Mr Page continued: “Michael Moore came out from the rear of his house and could be seen walking to the end of the fence and was seen to throw sausage over the fence before walking back to his house.
“The sausage was sent for analysis which demonstrated a medical preparation of codeine and paracetamol, crushed tablets and capsules.It was not possible to identify the green substance but from its appearance it may have been a slug pellet preparation.”
Michael Moore, 62, was contacted by the police on a number of occasions to come for an interview but declined to do so.
Mr Page told the Liverpool Magistrates’ Court that Ms Wilkinson had lived at her hom for many years while Mr Moore moved in four years before the incident.
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Initially, the pair got on well but their relationship soured 18 months ago “when a dispute broke out over the boundary wall”.
Andrew pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to administering a poisonous drug or substance to a protected animal, namely a dog, knowing it was poisonous or injurious.
He later applied to change his plea but a district judge refused his application and his solicitor then had to withdraw from the case, meaning Andrew appeared for sentence unrepresented.
Asked about his behaviour by District Judge James Hatton, he said: “I didn’t throw anything over the fence.”
But Mr Hatton told him that “that ship has already sailed” as he had initially pleaded guilty.
Andrew went on to say he has sold his house and plans to move to Preston.
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The court heard Mr Moore had previous convictions for failing to provide a breath sample in 2010 and kidnapping in 1998, for which he got a community sentence.
The judge told Moore he had committed a very serious offence by throwing poisoned sausages over the fence with intent to cause suffering to the dogs. He said: “You did that because you had had a falling out with your neighbour.
“You not only placed those animals at significant risk but there are three young children who could have been put at significant risk.”
The judge imposed an 18-week suspended sentence and ordered Moore to carry out 20 days’ rehabilitation and pay £213 court costs. A five-year restraining order to keep away from Ms Wilkinson was also imposed.