Man sentenced for mutilating dog
Last Updated: Friday, September 17, 2010 | 4:49 PM ET
This young, male, black Lab mix named Tyson, had to be euthanized after he was found suffering from severe injuries to his genitals. (Windsor-Essex County Humane Society)
A Windsor, Ont., man has been sentenced for abusing his dog so badly the animal had to be put down.
Anjalo Abeywickrema, 51, was sentenced Friday to four months in jail for mutilating the genitals of his young black Lab mix named Tyson.
The animal was found in pain and unable to move in the grass near an elementary school in downtown Windsor in May.
Abeywickrema, who was on parole for a previous conviction of manslaughter, was arrested three days after the dog was found.
He was charged with one count of permitting unnecessary pain, injury or suffering to an animal.
The sentence handed down in the Ontario Court of Justice Friday will be served in addition to the term Abeywickrema must serve for the previous manslaughter conviction.
Windsor man jailed for cruelty after strapping condom on dog
Published On Sat, 18 Sep 2010
Tyson, a three-year-old black Lab mix, had to be euthanized after an external infection spread internally to his abdomen and bladder.
Windsor-Essex Humane Society
Anjalo Abeywickrema didn’t know what to do with his new dog, Tyson, a three-year-old black Lab mix that urinated and “humped everything” in his house. So he placed a condom on his dog’s penis and secured it with rubber tubing.
About 24 hours later, Tyson had to be euthanized after an infection spread from his genitals to his bladder.
On Friday, a Windsor judge sentenced the 51-year-old man to four months in jail for cruelty to an animal.
The incident occurred in early May.
According to Abeywickrema’s lawyer, Tyson became agitated when the condom was secured. The dog tried to get the condom off, but couldn’t and bit Abeywickrema when he tried to help. Then Abeywickrema brought Tyson outside to calm down. Once outside, Tyson took off.
Abeywickrema, a severe diabetic, lost the dog and collapsed — and then suffered a heart attack. A day later, with Abeywickrema still in hospital, Windsor city officials found Tyson and notified the Windsor-Essex Humane Society.
An external infection spread internally to his abdomen and bladder, according to Melanie Coulter, the society’s executive director.
“If we could have saved the dog, we would have,” Coulter said.
Abeywickrema was out on parole from a manslaughter sentence at the time, said his lawyer, Kevin Shannon.
“He stabbed his best buddy in the heart one drunken New Year’s Eve,” said Shannon.
When Abeywickrema was released from the hospital, he broke down and told his parole officer about the dog. Shortly after police arrested him, Abeywickrema suffered a second heart attack in jail.
Abeywickrema’s parole was revoked and he has been in prison since his arrest on May 13.
The four-month sentence will be tacked onto the remaining manslaughter sentence. Shannon figures his client will serve two-thirds of his time and will be out sometime next spring.
Shannon said Abeywickrema has mental health challenges in addition to his severe diabetes. Shannon said he was remorseful in court after pleading guilty to the judge.
“He turned to the people of the court and said ‘I’m sorry to all the animal lovers,’” Shannon said. “It’s too bad because he was starting to turn things around.”
As part of his sentence, Abeywickrema isn’t allowed to own an animal for five years.
Maya, a siberian husky looks out a traffic as Angela Mullins sits behind during a protest at the Superier Court of Justice in Windsor, Ont., on Sept. 17, 2010. A small group of animal righs supporters gathered outside the courthouse as Abeywickrema was senteced.
Photograph by: Jason Kryk, The Windsor Star
WINDSOR, Ont. — A Windsor man who tied a condom on his dog, wounding it so severely that the animal had to be euthanized, was sentenced Friday to four months in jail.
Anjalo Abeywickrema, 51, a Sri Lankan refugee who has served prison time for manslaughter, got up in court and apologized profusely before being sentenced by Ontario court Justice Lloyd Dean.
“I’m deeply sad why my dog Tyson had to die,” Abeywickrema said, denying his actions had “any sexual purpose.”
On May 10, a black Labrador retriever mix was found in a school yard in obvious distress. Its penis was bloody and blackened from being bound in a condom secured by a strip of rubber from a bicycle inner tube.Abeywickrema admitted to having affixed the contraption to the dog a day earlier. It had been “peeing and humping” in his apartment and a friend suggested using a condom as a training device, he said.Abeywickrema said when he tried to remove the condom, the dog bit him. The dog subsequently ran away.
Abeywickrema looked for the animal but developed chest pains and was hospitalized. Abeywickrema was still in the hospital when the dog was found by city workers the next day.Abeywickrema said he regrets ever putting the condom on the dog, explaining he had been having trouble managing his diabetes and “didn’t think right.” Animal rights activists filled a row of benches in the courtroom, holding hands as if in prayer during the sentencing hearing. They audibly scoffed as Abeywickrema spoke.
Abeywickrema looked out at them and said, “I’m really, really sorry to all the animal lovers.”
The judge said he couldn’t allow raw emotion to influence his ruling. He pointed to other animal abuse cases, noting that worse brutality has resulted in lighter sentences.
In one case, a man who beat his dog to death with a shovel was sentenced to 60 days in jail to be served on weekends.
“This is a much different scenario than taking a shovel and beating the dog to death with it,” Dean said.
Looking at Abeywickrema, then looking out at the reporters and protesters gathered in the courtroom, he said,
“I must recognize he suffered a heart attack.… If not for the heart attack we might not be here today.”Abeywickrema has remained in jail since his arrest May 13.
He was on parole at the time, having been convicted of manslaughter for killing a friend during an alcohol-fuelled argument. Because of the dog incident, his parole will be revoked.
His animal cruelty sentence will be served consecutively, meaning he will remain in prison to serve the animal cruelty sentence past what would have been his normal release on the manslaughter charge. In both cases he will only have to serve two-thirds of his sentence.
In an interview outside the courthouse, defence lawyer Kevin Shannon said Abeywickrema will likely be released on both sentences by years’ end. Angela Mullins, an animal lover who came to witness the proceeding, questioned the concept of parole. “If he’d been in jail where he was supposed to be this would have never happened,” she said.
Assistant Crown attorney Kim Bertholet had argued for a jail sentence of eight to nine months for Abeywickrema.
Shannon had asked for a three-month sentence.“I think it’s appropriate,” said Shannon of the four-month term.
Dean prohibited Abeywickrema from living with any pet for five years. Nancy McCabe, field operations manager for the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society said that was the only part of the sentence with which she disagreed. “I would definitely like to see a lifetime ban on animal ownership,” she said.McCabe said she believed Abeywickrema’s remorse was genuine. “I’ve done a lot of these cases. In every other case no one has gotten up and said, ‘I’m sorry.’ You have to give him credit for that.”Other animal lovers in the courtroom weren’t as charitable.“It’s a joke,” some said. One said Abeywickrema should suffer the same fate as his dog.Those words concerned Abeywickrema’s lawyer. He said he counselled his client not to return to Windsor following his release.
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