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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 16:43 GMT
Man jailed after kicking hamster
A man who dropkicked a pet hamster as if it was a rugby ball has been sent to prison for 60 days.

John Ackland, 31, of Manor Road, Sherborne, Dorset, kicked the pet three metres through the air, Yeovil Magistrates Court heard.

The "horrific attack" happened at his former girlfriend's home in Wincanton, Somerset, on 3 May.

"This was a sadistic and sustained attack on a defenceless animal," Wendy Mellish, the magistrates' chair, said.

Ackland also used a chair leg to pot Bruno the albino hamster like a snooker ball, and hurled the pet from an upstairs window during the drunken attack.

He then posted the animal through a neighbour's letterbox. The creature was so badly injured during the attack that vets were forced to put it down.

Ackland, who served with the Royal Navy for seven-and-a-half years, had pleaded guilty to a charge of cruelty to an animal at a previous hearing.

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