A Mottingham man has been found guilty of killing his dog by strangling it and hanging it outside his house with a rope as it "gasped for air".

Everald James, 48, appeared at Bexley Magistrates' Court yesterday charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

He was found guilty of the charge, which he had denied.

Previously of Beaconsfield Parade, James, also known as Shadow, was heard shouting at about 8pm on September 6.

The dog, Boyzee, was a dark brown male bullmastiff weighing 31kg, and was about three years old.

A post-mortem examination gave multiple factors in the cause of death including asphyxia, adding there was an indication of blunt-force trauma and signs on Boyzee's claws and teeth which could indicate a struggle.

Red marks were also seen around the dog's neck.

Prosecuting, Patricia Strobino said: “The defendant is alleged to have hung his pet dog with a rope on railings outside his house.

“He said the dog died accidentally.”

Giving evidence, neighbour Harlon Horsford said he heard shouting, and told the court: “When I opened the front door I saw Everald.

“He had the dog with a rope wrapped round its throat, repeatedly hitting the dog in the face and throat with his left hand.”

He stated the rope was wrapped around a metal railing, one end strangling the dog and the other end being pulled by James' right hand, as he hit him with his left.

Mr Horsford continued: “The dog was secured to the railings.

“I confronted him, I said let go and he wouldn't.

“He said he doesn't care about the police or RSPCA, he's named Shadow and no one can tell him nothing, it's his dog.

“So I punched him in the face, he fell back on the floor and Boyzee dropped to the floor.

“I took the rope off of Boyzee's neck. He couldn't breathe properly, he was gasping for air.

“I pushed his tongue to the left, he had saliva all in his mouth, I was trying to breathe air into him.

“His back legs were twitching, he made his last breath and passed away.

“He was a lovely dog, very loving, very gentle.”

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The incident took place in Beaconsfield Parade, Mottingham

While giving evidence, Mr Horsford broke down in tears and had to compose himself.

He said that throughout the attack Boyzee's legs were not able to reach the floor, and he scrabbled to get a footing.

James was arrested later that day.

He initially stated he was taking the dog outside to do its business, and dragged it through a crowd of people, inadvertently strangling it.

But while giving evidence he claimed it was actually a tug of war between him and Mr Horsford which accidentally killed the dog.

James, who admitted he had been drinking that day, said: “He grabbed the lead, I said let go of my dog. He said he wanted the dog. 

“I just kept pulling my dog not looking back. When I turned back around I saw the dog on the floor.

“I could never harm my dog, it's what keeps me alive.

“I've got a 15-year-old daughter I can't see, I bought the dog to keep me company.”

When passing the verdict, magistrates described his testimony as "not credible".

James is due to be sentenced on January.