Cross Roads pub landlord wins animal cruelty conviction appeal.

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Cross Roads pub landlord wins animal cruelty conviction appeal.

Post  Admin on Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:43 pm

A Cross Roads pub landlord is celebrating the return of his family dog after 14 months in kennels.

Shep the German shepherd was ‘freed’ after Vassil Vasilev’s conviction for animal cruelty was overturned.

Mr Vasilev had consistently denied the charge of kicking Shep while walking his pet at the St Ives estate in Harden in summer 2012.

He believes he was a victim of mistaken identity, and that witnesses saw a different man elsewhere in St Ives kicking an animal.

The accusation led to the RSPCA keeping Shep in kennels until the outcome of Mr Vasilev’s case – and his subsequent appeal – was known.

The original guilty verdict was overturned on October 24, and the morning afterwards, Mr Vasilev and his wife, Paula, rushed to the Sheffield centre to collect their beloved pet.

When they got home to the Cross Roads Inn at Halifax Road, the dog was reunited with the couple’s three young sons.

Mr Vasilev, 40, known as ‘Baz’, described the return as an early Christmas present for Billy, ten, Charly, eight, and six-year-old Tommy.

He said: “Last year, they wrote a letter to Santa Claus to say all they wanted was Shep back.”

Mr Vasilev’s nightmare began in August last year during the visit to St Ives with Paula, Shep and their sons.

Four visitors to the popular beauty spot reported the dog attack to police. Following interviews by police and an RSPCA inspector, Shep was taken away.

Mr Vasilev appeared before Bradford magistrates in June this year, where he was accused of delivering a “bone-crunching” kick to Shep’s head that left the animal screaming in pain.

He was found guilty of failing to protect an animal from pain, injury or suffering, and banned from keeping animals for a year.

Mr Vasilev’s legal team appealed, and during a hearing on October 24 at Bradford Crown Court, the Recorder present decided to allow Mr Sullivan’s appeal against conviction.

Speaking after the case, Mr Vasilev suggested the witnesses had seen someone else with a similar appearance to him.

He added: “There must have been something happening that day, but it wasn’t us. It was a completely different part of the park.

“I want to thank all the customers who stood by me since the first result because they knew there was something wrong in that story.”

An RSPCA spokesman said: “We are disappointed by the result of the appeal hearing but respect the decision of the Recorder.”

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