A father-to-be who drowned his pet dog in the bath because he could not afford to have him put down is facing six months in jail.

Robert Oram

Robert Oram, 25, held Staffordshire bull terrier Tyson under the water until he died at the flat he shared with ­pregnant girlfriend Emma Barker and her seven-year-old son, a court heard.

Oram, who is on benefits, then buried the animal in nearby woods.

Kevin McCole, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said the couple decided to drown the dog because they were both on benefits and believed they could not afford to have him put down.

He said a postmortem on Tyson showed bruising as a result of the “force applied to the back of the skull” as he was held under.

He said: “It is reasonable that the dog would have sought to fight when put under the water and been caused to suffer in the moments prior to losing its life.”

Oram claimed he only held Tyson under water for two minutes and that the dog did not struggle, Corby magistrates were told.

Mr McCole told the court: “He said, ‘I wasn’t sure he was dead so I unplugged the bath, went into the living room and had a little cry’.”

Tyson, drowned in bath

Oram then went back to the bathroom, wrapped the dog up in plastic bags and waited for Ms Barker’s son to get home from school “so he could say goodbye”.

Mr McCole added:“He told inspectors he then took the animal into the woods to ‘give him a little funeral’.”

The court heard when he was confronted by RSPCA officers he denied Tyson was dead but later admitted the killing and led them to the grave.

Alistair Evans, mitigating, said Tyson “became more ­aggressive” in the nine months Oram owned him, which he was concerned about.

Pregnant Girlfriend Emma Barker

“He was well looked after during the time he was with Mr Oram,” Mr Evans added.

The court heard Oram, of Corby, ­Northants, has previous convictions for violence.

He admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Tyson and faces up to six months in jail or a fine of up to £20,000.

Ms Barker has denied failing to prevent unnecessary suffering to an animal and will face a separate trial.




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