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.

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Dog abuse cases jam court

Dog abuse cases jam court

CALGARY HERALD | FEBRUARY 10, 2010
BY DARYL SLADE

Animals rights activists showed up Tuesday at the Calgary Courts Centre as judges dealt with three cases of dog abuse in which animals were hanged, beaten to death and had eyes gouged.

“It’s really bad when in one day there are three cases on the court dockets in one city,” Heather Anderson, founder of DAISY (Delegates Against Inhuman Suffering Y?), said outside court.

“If the public sees these people are getting more than a slap on the wrist, they’ll quit doing it. The general public doesn’t realize how many cases there really are, yet only a very small percentage even make it to court.”

Bradley Kim Bergman, 56, faces jail time after pleading guilty to assaulting his common-law wife, who tried to stop him from hanging her dog after the pet vomited in their house. Bergman also admitted to the animal abuse charges and spitting in the face of a police officer who answered the domestic call for help.

“The assault against Ms. (Denise) Head . . . no doubt induced a fair amount of terror,” Crown prosecutor Gord Haight argued in seeking a sentence of seven to 10 months.

Lawyer Patrick Flynn said his client suffered from depression and is on medication to control his anger.

“This man, for many reasons, has not been treated properly (medically),” said Flynn.

Court previously heard Bergman told Head after her six-year-old dog Buddy vomited: “I’m going to show you I can skin and gut a dog.”

The woman stepped in front of Bergman, who took the dog out to the garage and tied a noose around its neck.

Head called police and an officer had to cut the rope to save the dog’s life. Const. David Grouchey asked Bergman about the dog and Bergman said he hoped it was dead by now, then spit in the officer’s face.

The dog has since been adopted.

The case will be back in court on Friday to set a date for sentencing.

Michael Rabeau, charged with the beating death of a puppy, had his case adjourned until today to set a trial date. He had pleaded guilty but changed back to not guilty.

Donald Ainsworth pleaded guilty to a similar charge of animal abuse, and had his case adjourned until Feb. 17. He is charged with inflicting severe eye injuries to a dog named Gucci.

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