R v Munroe, [2010] OJ No 2579 (ON Ct J)

Mr. Munroe was found guilty of two counts under s. 445(1)(a) of the Criminal Code for causing unnecessary suffering to both Abbey (Boston terrier) and Zoe (Boston terrier) and two counts under s. 445.1(1)(a) of the Criminal Code, one for the unlawful killing of Abbey and the other for the unlawful wounding of Zoe. The Judge decided that Abbey’s death was an additional element that was not material to a conviction for the s. 445.1 cruelty charge.

The magnitude of the offences are described by the following terms: multiple lesions, blunt force trauma, lesion from a thermal, chemical or electrical burn, haemorrhage, separated retina, collapsed lung, fourteen rib fractures, perforation of the thoracic cavity, and so on. These were not the fruits of a single act of misguided anger or frustration; they reflect multiple injuries of different types inflicted at different times over a prolonged period. The Judge stated that the word “torture” was the only apt description in this case.

In sentencing, the Judge considered it necessary to make an order prohibiting Mr. Munroe from owning, having the custody or control of, or residing in the same premises as an animal or a bird for a period of twenty-five years from 15 April, 2010 under section 447.1 of the Criminal Code. The Judge also made a free-standing restitution order in the total amount of $12,964.61.

Notably, the Judge focused on the fact that “society…long ago moved forward from the notion of animals as mere property. While man continues to have dominion over animals, in a civilized society that is a power accompanied by significant responsibilities. Society’s repugnance for the wilful infliction of suffering on these sentient creatures is reflected starkly in the fact that Parliament recently increased the maximum overall punishment available for this offence ten-fold.”

The Judge concluded that a sentence of twelve months was concurrent on each count, combined with a period of probation and restitution in order to address fully the requirements of a fit sentence, while remaining alive to the concept of totality. Finally, Mr. Munroe was also placed on probation for a period of three years, with terms.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: Ontario

Topics: animalcriminaldogkillingprohibitionsufferingwound

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