UK

Chihuahua 'Swinging' Charge Admitted By Teenager After Viral Video Appeal

04/08/2014 13:06 BST | Updated 04/08/2014 13:59 BST

A teenager who claims to love dogs has pleaded guilty to swinging a chihuahua around in the air by its lead.

Alfie Loft, 19, "felt disgusted" at himself after the incident on Thursday, his solicitor told the court.

He was banned from keeping animals for two years and given a curfew by a district judge at Hatfield Magistrates' Court today after admitting causing unlawful suffering to an animal.

Loft was arrested after a video of him repeatedly swinging the small dog around his head was handed to police and uploaded to the internet.

The dog belonged to a women he had just met while drinking with friends at a pub in Stevenage.

She asked him to take the dog for a walk while he and three friends went to a nearby shop to buy more alcohol.

Defence solicitor Natasha Patel said he was trying to encourage the dog to walk by pulling on its lead when it lifted in to the air for the first time.

"The people he was with began laughing at the incident and that has almost egged him on," she said.

"He knows that was wrong. He doesn't remember much of what happened."

She added: "He's disgusted at himself, they were his own words to me.

"He feels humiliated that this incident has occurred.

Man Arrested For Swinging Chihuahua Around His Head After Viral Video Appeal

"He has also said he would like to write a letter to apologise to the owner of the dog to show that he is truly sorry.

"He does love dogs himself, although he doesn't own any himself."

Although the dog was not injured, its owner said it was distressed and was acting out of character.

The incident happened at around 6pm on Thursday in Julians Road near the junction with Fairview Road in Stevenage.

The owner was told about what happened by a witness.

Loft, who was kept in custody over the weekend, is signed off work because he is suffering from depression.

District judge Carolyn Mellanby, who accepted his "genuine remorse", said: "He did this in a very public way which was distressing and alarming for members of the public to observe."

She said the 12- week curfew between the hours of 9pm and 6am at his mother's home was to stop him from drinking alcohol.

Loft, from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, was also ordered to pay £250 compensation to the owner of the dog, £85 costs and £60 victim surcharge.