Men plead not guilty to dog cruelty charge

Two men charged with dousing a family pet dog in petrol and setting her alight, which resulted in the animal’s death, have pleaded not guilty to the offence.

Codie, a three-year-old collie dog, was doused with flammable liquid and set on fire

At Craigavon Crown Court, Jamie Downey and Andrew Richard Stewart, both 22, pleaded not guilty to a single charge of causing unnecessary suffering to Cody the collie dog on August 26, 2012.

Minutes earlier in the proceedings people in the packed-out public gallery, which was flanked by police officers, had clapped and cheered a decision by Judge Patrick Lynch QC not to dismiss the charge against the pair.

Lawyers for Downey, from Chestnut Hall Avenue and Stewart, from Wellington Parks, both in Moira told the judge there was still some outstanding applications to be addressed before the trial which is due to be heard on 16 June. Lawyers for the prosecution made a similar declaration.

Three-year-old Cody, a border collie suffered horrific burns to most of her body when she was doused in petrol and set on fire in the Maghaberry Road area of Moira.

The incident horrified the country and her battle for life captured the hearts of many

Despite heroic efforts by veterinary surgeons and the unflinching support of her family, she had to be put to sleep a week after the brutal attack.

Releasing both Downey and Stewart on continuing bail, the judge listed the case for review this week.