Deranged couple tortured pet dog for months before stuffing its dead body in suitcase and dumping it

Deranged couple tortured pet dog for months before stuffing its dead body in suitcase and dumping it
Representational Image (Getty Images)

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM: A deranged couple reportedly subjected their pet dog to months of abuse before it died. Then they stuffed the poor pooch's body in a suitcase and dumped it on the banks of the Mersey. According to Liverpool Magistrates Court, there was evidence that Chantelle Duvall-Gregory, 20, and Christy Carl-Hewitt, 21, had punched, kicked and stamped on two-year-old Belgian Shepherd Snoop, who was found dead inside a bright pink locked suitcase by a dog walker near the Speke and Garston Nature Reserve on January 11 last year.

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Pete Mitchell, prosecuting, said Snoop had “extensive bruising and fractures to the ribs”, two fractured canines, and it was clear the injuries sustained were “non-accidental”. The broken ribs were determined to be 6/8 weeks old as they had begun to heal. “As you know, the ribs are nature’s shock absorbers so it takes significant force to break them. They minimised exactly how much force they used on this dog”, Mitchell said according to Liverpool Echo

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Snoop was hit on the face so hard that it caused damage to his canine teeth, but it was unable to determine exactly which of the pair caused which injury. A youth witness previously stated she saw Duvall-Gregory, who is now a mother, once hit Snoop so hard with a wooden spoon it broke. Snoop died of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis after eating a granola bar with raisins given to it by Duvall-Gregory.

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The dog had to suffer unbearable torture between April 1 and December 22, 2021 at the couple's former home on Winfield Road, Garston. The suitcase was linked to Duvall-Gregory after her name was found on it. On November 28, 2022, Duvall-Gregory, of no fixed address, and Carl-Hewitt, 21, of Parkfield Road, Aigburth, both pleaded guilty to four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. 

Duvall-Gregory had admitted she would kick Snoop on the bottom, but not hard and would give him a “slap on the nose”. “She accepted she caused a number of the injuries, but minimises how serious the injuries were", Mitchell said. Likewise, Carl-Hewitt said he would “give it a slap if the dog was p***ing and s***ing in the house”, but not hard.  Mitchell said, “The dog was not fed dog food at all, and was only given leftover food.”

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He described that one the day he died, “the dog had lost the use of its bowels, and black tar was coming out” of its bottom.  Vicky Balenski, defending, said Snoop died on December 23, after becoming ill  and Duvall-Gregory and Carl-Hewitt sought help from several vets to help the animal but no-one was available due to the proximity to Christmas. She also alleged that the dog had already died before being put into the suitcase, and they were not trying to hide anything when disposing of the body. Balenski said her clients claimed Snoop would not eat dog food, and that Duvall-Gregory thought she had removed all the raisins from the granola before feeding it to the dog.

The pair pleaded guilty to inflicting blunt force trauma, physical violence and abusive behaviour on the Belgian Shepherd, failing to provide an adequate diet, and failing to take him to a vet when needed. They also pleaded guilty to one count of breaching their duties as people responsible for ensuring the safety of an animal. “For a lengthy period of time, this dog has been beaten and abused”, Judge James Hatton said in sentencing. Addressing Duvall-Gregory, he said, “This is prolonged ill treatment and neglectful treatment of this animal and has resulted in its untimely death. It is abundantly clear that you beat that defenceless animal over a lengthy period of time.”

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He said the untreated injuries caused more suffering for the animal. Judge Hatton sentenced Duvall-Gregory to 22 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months and ordered her to pay $150 victim surcharge and $550 prosecution costs.  Speaking to Carl-Hewitt, he said, “Much of what I have said to your co-defendant applies to you.” He referred to the punching, kicking and stamping of the dog, and said it was your “default position to minimise your behaviour.”

Carl-Hewitt is currently under a community order relating to a different charge that took place before these offences. Carl-Hewitt was sentenced to 22 weeks imprisonment and was immediately remanded into custody. The couple were given a ten year disqualification from owning an animal, and cannot apply to appeal this for five years.

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