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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
US serviceman slit dog's throat
The dog was put in a black bin liner Picture: RSPCA
Dustin Yandell put the dog's body into a bin bag Picture: RSPCA
A US serviceman has been warned he could be jailed after killing his wife's dog by slitting its throat.

Dustin Yandell, 21, killed the golden Labrador and dumped its body in a bin outside his home in Newmarket, Suffolk.

Yandell admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a dog when he appeared before Bury St Edmunds magistates.

The court heard the defendant told US Air Force investigators he acted after getting upset at something his wife said during a telephone call.

He was warned he may go to jail because of the seriousness of the offence.

Magistrates adjourned the case until 18 September when Yandell, who is based at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, is due to be sentenced.

RAF Lakenheath
Dustin Yandell is based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk

The dog's body was found by a council refuse worker on 28 March this year.

The court heard Yandell initially denied having anything to do with the dog's death, having claimed it had gone missing.

But he later confessed to the killing and told RSPCA officers he put the dog in the bath and slit its throat before dumping it in the bin and cleaning up his home.

Michael Taylor, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said evidence from experts showed the dog had suffered.

Professor Ranald Munro, from Edinburgh University's veterinary school, said in a statement: "It is highly improbable that unconsciousness and death were immediate.

"Consequently, this dog would have suffered severe pain and distress over the period of time of the wounding and the onset of unconsciousness."

Claire Lockwood, for Yandell, told magistrates extensive personal mitigation would be offered in a pre-sentence report and asked that her client be given full credit for his prompt guilty plea.

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