NO REMORSE: Bolsover dog killers jailed for ‘brutal, vicious and unprovoked’ attack

James Hill walking into court. Picture by Anne Shelley.
James Hill walking into court. Picture by Anne Shelley.

Two brothers have been jailed for a “brutal, vicious and unprovoked” attack which left an elderly dog dead.

James Hill, 22, of Hillcrest Close, Bolsover, and Thomas Hill, 20, of Houfton Road, Bolsover, subjected the animal to a terrifying ordeal while they were high on the drug MCAT and drunk, Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard this afternoon.

James Hill walking into court. Picture by Anne Shelley.

James Hill walking into court. Picture by Anne Shelley.

The dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross Jack Russell called Tyson, was deaf and blind.

Magistrates heard James Hill used a poker to kill the animal – after it was thrown across a room, kicked and punched by the pair.

The brothers showed no remorse as they were each sentenced to 23 weeks in prison.

The brothers were at a house party on Chesterfield Road, Shuttlewood, on the evening of November 9 last year, the court heard.

Thomas Hill outside court. Picture by Anne Shelley.

Thomas Hill outside court. Picture by Anne Shelley.

Prosecuting solicitor Rod Chapman said: “Thomas picked up Tyson and threw him across the room.

“As the dog was mid-air, James punched it. Witnesses said this was repeated a second time. James then kicked the dog.

“The witnesses said they were appalled but didn’t intervene because they feared the brothers would turn on them.”

John Wilford, mitigating, said James Hill – who arrived at court almost two hours late – admitted using a poker to kill the animal.

A vet’s report concluded the dog died because of blunt trauma to its head. It also suffered a broken jaw and a tooth was knocked out.

The homeowner – and dog owner – was out when the attack happened, Mr Chapman said.

He added: “When she returned, she was passed Tyson’s body wrapped up in bedding.

“She has been left very upset.”

Mr Wilford said the brothers had drug problems and added they had been affected by threats posted on Facebook following publicity about the case.

The brothers pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal last week after pleading not guilty at an earlier hearing.

James Hill – who has 17 previous convictions – admitted criminal damage and arson and Thomas Hill – who has seven previous convictions – also admitted arson.

Those charges related to a door which had been damaged by James Hill and then set alight by the brothers.

They were handed jail terms for these offences to run concurrently to the 23 weeks and will be placed under supervision when they are released.

In addition, they must pay compensation to the dog owner.

Presiding magistrate Richard Lombers told the brothers: “This was a brutal, vicious and unprovoked attack on an elderly, sick dog.”

There was an increased security and police presence at the court as the case sparked anger both locally and nationally.

Almost 7,000 people signed an online petition calling for the brothers to be jailed.

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