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Axeman hacked horse to death.

A MAN brutally hacked a horse to death with an axe because a neighbour complained it had been eating too much grass, a court was told on Tuesday.

Greg Martin of Bofield, Bonninconlon, Ballina, believed he had the right to kill the mare because "the Bible says man has dominion over animals".

American Martin, who is in his thirties and settled on his ancestral home in Co Mayo 18 months ago, pleaded not guilty of cruelty under the Protection of Animals Act 1911.

He conducted his own defence after telling the judge he was psychologically fit.

After hearing the evidence, Judge Devins described Martin's behaviour as "absolute, wanton cruelty".

Garda Des McCann said that when he visited the defendant's home on October 10 he saw what looked like a pile of concrete at the hayshed fifty yards from the house.

While speaking to Martin at the door, he looked over at the hayshed and said: "What is that?" The defendant then put his two hands up and said: "Alright, alright. I did it. I killed my mare."

Garda McCann said when he called back some days later, the animal had been cut into pieces with a saw and all that remained was the two front legs and the shoulder end.

Garda McCann said he arrested the defendant under the Mental Treatment Act. Martin signed himself into Castlebar hospital voluntarily but left in his pajamas the next morning.

Judge Devins sentenced Martin to 3 months in jail and imposed a pounds 500 fine.

She also granted an application by gardai that all animals owned by Martin be removed from his care.
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Author:Roberts, Joe
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 25, 2000
Words:270
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