Lee Preston, 37, bought a dog in an attempt to rekindle the relationship with his ex-girlfriend – but then she saw him kick the puppy, causing the animal to yelp in pain
A cruel man was caught on a video doorbell kicking a puppy he had bought in an attempt to win back his ex-girlfriend, a court has heard.
Lee Preston, 37, had been dumped by his partner due to his poor behaviour towards her. In a misguided attempt to rekindle the relationship, the chartered accountant bought a dog and took it to her house – but she saw him kick the puppy, causing the animal to yelp in pain.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard that in another incident, he went to her house and attacked her door. When she went outside, he slammed her against a wall and bit her on her neck.
Now Preston – who has no previous convictions – has been jailed for 16 months. Prosecutor Omar Majid said Preston had been in a relationship with his victim after meeting her at their workplace, Dunelm. But she found him increasingly volatile, physical and controlling and ended their relationship in September last year.
On September 28 last year, she was at home when Preston turned up unannounced. Mr Majid said: “He started to kick her front door and caused damage to the bottom corner of the door meaning it did not lock properly.”
Preston tried to win his victim back by buying her a puppy, but on November 22, she saw footage from her doorbell camera, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live. Mr Majid said: “When she opened it she saw Preston kick the dog and it could be heard yelping in pain. It was clearly a sadistic attack.”
On December 18, Preston showed up at his victim’s home and became aggressive and verbally abusive. Mr Majid explained: “He started to kick the front door and pull the doorbell off the wall.
“She decided to go out and look at the door. When she went out the argument continued and she told him to leave. He grabbed her by her hair and dragged her and during the fight he bit her on her neck having slammed her against the wall of the garage. She kept telling him to leave but he refused. He picked up a flower pot and threw it at the door.”
A neighbour who witnessed the incident described it as “horrific”. The victim said Preston’s behaviour had a negative impact on her mental health.
Preston, from Grove Avenue, Fenton, admitted to assault causing actual bodily harm, two charges of criminal damage, and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Barry White, defending, said Preston is remorseful.
He said: “He has let emotions get the better of him. He has acted badly and out of character. He has no previous convictions and has not offended since these matters. He has watched the footage with me and is ashamed and embarrassed.”
Mr White, defending Preston, said that his client had spent four weeks on remand after his arrest and did not fit into the prison environment at all. He added: “He can be rehabilitated.”
However, Recorder Robert Smith disagreed, saying that the crime was so severe that only an immediate jail sentence could be justified. He told Preston: “She had the misfortune to meet you at work and formed an intimate relationship with you from November 2021. You have a senior position in the company and she a junior one.
“In July 2022 she noticed your behaviour towards her had changed. She decided to end the relationship in September last year due to your controlling behaviour. I completely reject your profound remorse. I find you jealous, controlling and an arrogant man. I find you pose a risk of causing serious harm to partners.”
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