Arbaz Hamza Hamid, 24, gave vet Tim Stead the “coup de grace” at the end of several minutes’ of aggression by a group of people towards the vet.
The dog, a bitch, had been bought from America for several thousand pounds, York Crown Court heard.
Through his barrister, Rachel Webster, Hamid claimed the dog had cost £4,000 to £5,000 and was solely a “family pet” owned jointly by the three men including Hamid and two women who had confronted the vet on January 16 last year in his surgery off Poppleton Road, York.
She said the five were not members of one family.
According to the prosecution the cost of the dog had been £20,000.
The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, rejected the defendant’s claim the dog was a family pet and said it could have been used for breeding.
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“This was the loss of a big investment, that is what this was all about,” he told Hamid. “I don’t accept this was an impulsive act by you. This was the coup de grace of an increasingly hostile situation.”
Mr Stead had been subjected to aggression from three men.
“People such as vets or doctors or nurses perform an important function for others and this was a punishment beating by you. There has to be an element of deterrent so people such as this vet, nurses, taxi drivers and others know that the courts will protect them,” said the judge.
Hamid, of Deepdale Road, Kimberworth, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and was jailed for seven months.
Victoria Barker, prosecuting, said Hamid suddenly lunged forward at the end of the incident and punched Mr Stead in the face with a clenched fist, driving his glasses into his face so hard they left an imprint in the skin and making three cuts that had to be sutured.
Ms Webster said the dog had been ill and needing two-hourly injections and the five joint owners had been giving it round the clock care.
Ms Barker said a man and woman, who were later part of the five, had brought the dog to the vet at 10.30am on January 16, 2023.
He had told them it needed surgery and the chances of its surviving were one in five. The two had agreed to the surgery.
The vet had carried out the operation and later that day had rung the couple to tell them the dog had died.
At 4.15pm, the five arrived in two cars and confronted the vet in a situation that got ever more aggressive. At one point, one of the men – not Hamid – had punched the wall.
Immediately after Mr Stead was hit, all five had left.
Ms Webster said Hamid had loved the dog and had acted impulsively. He had taken no part in the aggression until the punch. He was very remorseful and had no previous convictions.