Jail time, pet ban for dog abusing wife beater

Jail time, pet ban for dog abusing wife beater

CALGARY SUN | APRIL 19, 2010
By KEVIN MARTIN

Daisy Foundation, Heather AndersonBeating his wife, trying to strangle her dog with a noose and then spitting in a cop’s face has landed a Calgary man a seven-month jail term. But animal rights activists are applauding a secondary part of Bradley Kim Bergman’s punishment — a 10-year order that he have no pets.

Provincial court Judge Sean Dunnigan agreed with Crown prosecutor Gord Haight that Bergman’s conduct warranted at least a seven-month jail term.

Calling Bergman’s conduct “despicable,” Dunnigan said the admitted abuser still doesn’t understand the gravity of his actions.

“It appears … he does not see what he did to be any big deal,” Dunnigan said.

“Mr. Bergman seems to minimize his actions and excuse his criminal behaviour.”

The judge said Bergman’s attack on his common-law wife Denise Head’s pet Corgi, Buddy, was calculated to harm her further after he had repeatedly punched her.

“He intended her to suffer greatly,” Dunnigan said.

Bergman, 56, was angry at Buddy on March 1, 2009, for vomiting in their house and when he said he was going to “skin and gut” the animal, Head attempted to intervene.

When she did that he threatened to do the same to her before taking the dog to the garage and tightly tying a noose around its neck.

He also forced his way into a bathroom where Head had retreated for safety and to call police, before repeatedly punching her in the back.

When police arrived Bergman said he hoped the dog was already dead and spit into Const. David Grouchey’s face.

Police were able to save the animal, which was having trouble breathing.

Outside court, Haight said the 10-year pet ownership prohibition, under relatively new legislation, is the longest he’s seen in Calgary.

The penalty was applauded by a small group of animal lovers who had attended the sentencing.

Heather Anderson, of the DAISY Foundation, said she was pleased Bergman will have no control over any pet for the next decade.

“We’re really happy with the 10-year ban,” Anderson said.

“A 10-year ban is about as good as we’re going to get.”

She was also relieved to see that Bergman is going to jail.

“I’m glad he got some time I’m really happy about that, but it would’ve been nice (if it was) more time,” she said.

Along with jail, Dunnigan handed Bergman two year’s probation.

(Enable Javascript to see the email address)

Read the article


Jail urged for dog abuser

Jail urged for dog abuser

CALGARY SUN | APRIL 19, 2010
By KEVIN MARTIN

Blinding his pet dog by whacking it with a flashlight should land a Calgary man up to five months in jail, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

But the lawyer for Donald James Ainsworth said her client should be spared any jail, or at worst given a term which can be served on weekends.

Defence counsel Andrea Serink said other animal abuse cases, even those involving deaths, have resulted in punishments less than the three- to five-month term the Crown wants for her client.

“Denunciation and deterrence can be achieved in this case by your honour imposing a community-based sentence, or a sentence which can be served on an intermittent basis,” Serink told provincial court Judge Bruce Fraser.

But Crown prosecutor Gord Haight said other cases where lighter sentences were handed out occurred before Parliament upped the maximum penalty for cruelty to animals.

“Anything less than an actual jail sentence would be inconsistent with the fundamental principals of justice,” Haight said.

“Parliament has now tripled the maximum sentence when the Crown proceeds summarily,” he said.

Before the changes animal cruelty was always a summary crime with a maximum of six months, Haight noted.

Now if the Crown proceeds by indictment the highest jail term available is five years.

Haight said there were aggravating factors in Ainsworth’s March 13, 2009, attack on his miniature Doberman pinscher, Gucci, which has since been seized by the Humane Society.

Haight said Ainsworth grabbed Gucci by the neck and shook her before striking her on the head with a flashlight after the dog urinated in his truck.

Ainsworth didn’t take the dog for medical treatment until he asked a friend to do so the next day.

The prosecutor said the dog’s injured eye had to be surgically removed, although a Humane Society vet said immediate treatment may have saved it, Haight said.

“The most obvious aggravating factor here is the severity of the actions of the accused with respect to this animal,” he said.

“The accused admitted to not only striking the blow, but grabbing her by the neck and shaking her.”

A contrite Ainsworth told Fraser: “I am very, very sorry for what I have done to my pet, I’m very, very ashamed.”

Fraser will hand down a sentence on June 15.

Ainsworth remains at liberty until then.

(Enable Javascript to see the email address)

Read the article