Violent thug Dean Popham, of Grays, who slit puppy’s throat after headbutting girlfriend now facing 20 months in prison

A VIOLENT thug slit a puppy’s throat in the street after swinging it around by its neck and headbutting his girlfriend in a “bizarre and horrifying” drug-fuelled rampage.

Dean Popham, of Wallace Road, Grays, killed the young Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, named Edley, using a kitchen knife taken from the young woman’s flat after leaving her with a cut lip.

The unemployed 30-year-old then fought with police officers and bit one on the thumb before they dragged the blood-soaked maniac to the ground.

Popham was jailed for a total of 20 months at Basildon Crown Court.

Loreen Hussain, prosecuting, said the horrific incident in Thames Road, Grays, on September 4, was preceded by vile sexual threats Popham made over text message and Facebook.

He then stormed round to his victim’s flat in a rage, forced his way in and began kicking Edley.

She said: “The puppy, not knowing any better, was happy to see the defendant.

“He ran towards him but the defendant started kicking him, so much so that he lost one of his shoes.

“It was so bad that Edley lost control of his bowels. The young woman was screaming and told Popham to stop.

“He said; ‘I don’t care, he’s lucky I don’t throw him out the window.’”

Popham then picked the dog up by the ears and swung it around by its neck. “You can imagine the pain that he must have felt,” Miss Hussain said.

Popham headbutted his girlfriend before marching out of the flat clutching Edley and a knife.

The police officers who later found Popham covered in blood said he told them “meeting me is the worst mistake” before threatening to bite them.

Popham carried out his threat against one officer, sinking his teeth into his thumb and knee. The officer later had to have a tetanus injection.

Edley’s body was found nearby. A vet told police the wound would have caused Edley “pain, unnecessary suffering and distress”.

Miss Hussein said: “Not only did the victim have to deal with her own injuries and her upset children, but she had to deal with the death of a much-loved family pet.”

Madeline Corr, mitigating, said Popham was “full of remorse” and wanted to “throw himself on the mercy” of Judge Ian Graham after admitting the offences at an earlier hearing.

She said he still has no memory of the night and cannot explain his behaviour, but she said he was self-medicating for mental problems.

Popham, who has previous convictions for violence and cultivating cannabis, suffers from emotionally unstable personality disorder.

Jailing Popham for a total of ten months, Judge Graham said he had gone “berserk” for no apparent reason and called the killing of the dog “bizarre and horrifying”.

Popham was jailed for 12 months for causing actual bodily harm to his partner, six months for actual bodily harm to the police officer and two months for criminal damage to the dog, all to run consecutively.

He was handed one month each for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and assaulting a police officer, to run concurrently to each other and the other sentences.

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