A man’s whose control and abuse of his partner culminated in him killing her two dogs has been jailed.
Matthew Stark, 42, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough, poisoned and strangled the dogs, Ronnie, and Tiki, on 11 September last year.
His partner realised something wasn’t right when the dogs weren’t at the door to greet her when she returned from work that evening.
And to her horror, she found them unresponsive in their beds and covered in faeces.
Despite rushing the dogs to the vets, they could not be saved, and both died from their injuries later.
During that time, Stark had been arrested.
Initial veterinary reports suggested that the dogs could have been poisoned and there was bruising around the chest and neck of the dogs.
The distraught woman, who had been a victim of domestic abuse in the relationship, fled to another address.
Officers were told by the victim that although she had been living in fear of Stark, hurting her dogs was the final straw.
Six months before the dogs’ deaths, Stark had assaulted the victim and his campaign of verbal abuse continued to worsen, leaving her feeling belittled and worried she would be killed by him.
Stark had downloaded an app on the victim’s phone so he could track her every move and constantly wanted to know who she was with and what she was doing.
He had isolated her from her family and friends, leaving her feeling she had no one to talk to.
At Peterborough Crown Court on 16 June, Stark pleaded guilty to controlling/coercive behaviour and two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
He was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.
DC Rebecca Corder who investigated, said: “Stark’s actions were despicable and beyond cruel. He is a dangerous man who, thankfully, has been brought to justice.
“We continue to work tirelessly to protect survivors of abuse and bring offenders before the courts.
“I’d encourage anyone in an abusive relationship to seek help.”
For information and support concerning domestic abuse, or to make a report, visit Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s website.
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