A MAN who bludgeoned a defenceless puppy to death with a hammer and broadcast the sickening attack on the internet has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.
Kyle Keegan, 24, appeared before Craigavon Crown Court on Tuesday where he confessed to brutally killing 12-month-old cross breed dog 'Sparky' in Co. Armagh on February 3, 2018.
He had been due to go on trial on Wednesday charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal but pleaded guilty on the eve of the proceedings.
According to BBC News, the prosecution asked that a second count of criminal damage - accusing Keegan of destroying the puppy "without lawful excuse" - should be left on the books following the guilty plea.
The judge granted the request as well as an application from the defence that sentencing be adjourned pending the completion of a pre-sentence probation report.
Keegan, of Gilpins Manor in Lurgan, was released on continuing bail ahead of his sentencing on July 4.
Sparky's remains were found in a bin in the Ailsbury Park area of Lurgan following the attack in February 2018, which was reportedly broadcast on Snapchat.
A post-mortem found the pup had suffered a number of fractures and severe brain trauma.
There were previously allegations that Sparky's body was put in a microwave, but no evidence of the claim was discovered.
In November 2017, a Co. Down man was handed a two-year prison sentence after he killed his dog before cooking its carcass and feeding it to other pets.
Dominic O'Connor, 28, was also sentenced to a further two years on licence for his "disgraceful and heinous offence."