A pensioner accused of shooting his neighbour’s dog and making threats to shoot the animal’s owner has been cleared of two charges.
Robin Rolfe, 78, denied offences of affray and destroying a dog. On Monday, he was found not guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court.
During the trial Rolfe chose not to give evidence, but in a police interview read to the court he said he fired the gun because he feared the dog was about to attack him.
Rolfe said he was alerted by his wife’s screams and found his own Jack Russell cross, called Ted, being held by the neck by a mastiff-labrador ross dog called Coco.
He told police Ted then spent five days being treated by a vet after for a 20cm wound to his neck, Rolfe said he had fired the gun in ‘panic’ and had not intended to cause injury.
The prosecution alleged Rolfe, now of Hereward Way, Feltwell, killed Coco as punishment because it was in his garden.
The incident happened on September 13 at an address in Undley Road, Lakenheath, said Gerard Renouf prosecuting.
Coco’s body was found with a wound above the left eye by Max Kettley, step-son of owner Robin Conway-Lusted.
Giving evidence, Mr Kettley said that following the shooting he heard Rolfe threaten to shoot Mr Conway-Lusted as well.
In the wake of the incident, Mr Conway-Lusted was taken ill and an ambulance had to be called, said Mr Kettley.
Rolfe had pleaded guilty to a third charge of possession of rifle ammunition without holding a firearms certificate. He was fined £500 with £200 prosecution costs by Judge John Devaux.