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New trial date set for man accused of bludgeoning puppy to death

Kyle Keegan

A Co Armagh man accused of bludgeoning a defenceless puppy to death with a hammer has had a new date set for trial.

Kyle Keegan, of Gilpins Manor, Lurgan is charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a chihuahua crossbreed puppy, named Sparky, on February 3 last year.

The 23-year-old pleaded not guilty to the two charges against him when he appeared at Craigavon Crown Court back in November.

Previous courts have heard how the bloodied remains of the 12-week-old pup were uncovered in a bin in Ailsbury Park in Lurgan following a party at the property.

An initial post-mortem on the pup’s remains revealed how Sparky had sustained a number of fractures as well as severe brain trauma.

Last Tuesday Craigavon Crown, heard that defence barrister Barry McKenna wished for a new date to be fixed as there had been a delay in “expert evidence”.

It was also heard that a prosecution forensic report had revealed a “mixed profile” of DNA on the hammer allegedly used.

However, Prosecution barrister Nicola Auret stated: “During interview, the defendant did claim that his DNA may have been on the hammer as he may have come into contact with it at an earlier stage”.

On Monday, the case was once more fixed for trial on April 1, with a review to be held on March 26.

Ms Auret also requested that the case was mentioned on January 31, for the purpose of agreeing on witnesses.

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