Plaistow man sentenced after deaths of dogs left in hot car in Ilford

dog in car

Hector and Yardie were left in the back of a Vauxhall Astra estate in Ilford on a day which saw temperatures rise to 24 degrees. - Credit: RSPCA

A man from Plaistow who left his dogs in a hot car in Ilford has been sentenced to a community order.

Richard Anthony Armstrong, of Maybury Road, appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, August 11.

The 47-year-old was found guilty of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering.

His conviction follows police finding one dog dead and a second Belgian Malinois collapsed but still breathing on April 20, 2019.

Video footage shows Armstrong explaining to officers how dogs Hector and Yardie had been in the back of his Vauxhall Astra estate in crates with the boot open and a fan running.


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The self-employed security dog handler said there was an air conditioning system in the vehicle which worked from a separate battery.

He told the RSPCA he left the boot door open but the dogs tended to "jump up and down when they heard any noise" and this must have caused it to close, trapping them in the heat. He also claimed the fan stopped.

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Armstrong said he had received complaints at home about their barking so had left them in the car.

Police contacted the RSPCA which launched an investigation while a police officer rushed with Yardie to a vet's in Ilford.

Insp Kate Ford from the RSPCA said: "She was in a very bad condition and it was looking likely that euthanasia was to be recommended.

"These dogs had been left in the vehicle for possibly in excess of two hours and the temperature was around 24 degrees."

Insp Ford recalled peering into the boot. One cage was empty with diarrhoea towards the back while Hector was in the other already dead.

"The kennel was just about large enough for the dog to stand in but there would not have been room for him to move.

"There was no evidence of water in either kennel," Insp Ford recalled.

Camera footage shows Yardie being rushed to the vets where she was given oxygen and fluids in a desperate bid to save her.  

She was suffering hypothermia, muscle tremors, an irregular heart rate and a body temperature of 40.3 degrees.  

A sedative and pain relief were given, but she began to vomit and twitch. Vets felt she would not recover and sought permission from Armstrong to put her to sleep.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £750 and a victim surcharge of £90. 

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