The Supreme Court handed down a three-month prison sentence to a 72-year-old man, who stabbed a guide dog to death in front of his deaf owner, overruling an earlier shorter and more lenient sentence.
The defendant, Giorgos Constantinou from Larnaca, was found to have been given a “manifestly inadequate” sentence, according to the ruling on Tuesday, which pointed out that the murder of Max, a German Shepherd, had come as a big shock to the family.
The killer stabbed Max twice in 2015 as the dog owner and his niece were watching, after the canine reportedly run out the gate towards Constantinou. He told the court he was acting in self defence, but the judge sided with the dog owner who said Max was only approaching Constantinou in a playful manner.
The Animal Party said the initial sentence was too lenient and was sending the wrong message
The district court had passed down a 45-day suspended sentence last year and Constantinou was ordered to pay court fees.
But the public reacted strongly towards the sentence, with the Animal Party saying the sentence was too lenient and 'no jail time' was sending the wrong message.
The attorney general, who weighed in following public outcry, had asked the Supreme Court to investigate the case. The new decision found that Constantinou behaved in a “cold-blooded” way and spoke of the need for stronger punishment as a deterrent, as similar cases have been on the rise on the island.