A SCAFFOLDER who repeatedly beat a puppy with a shoe and then left her to die was sent to prison this morning. 

Callum Gerken, 27, of Wood Farm, Oxford, appeared in Oxford Magistrates' Court earlier to face a trial for attacking Shadow, a 17-week-old labrador he was meant to be looking after. 

Gerken, who had previously denied the charge, had a last-minute change of heart and admitted causing the dog unnecessary suffering and a separate charge of sending a threatening message over WhatsApp. 

Magistrates sentenced him to serve 23 weeks in prison, and he must pay £250 compensation and £1,000 court costs. 

The Oxford Times:

Gerken was in a house in Saunders Road, East Oxford, on April 3, when he got angry at the puppy for defecating inside and ruining items in the house by tearing them up. 

He started repeatedly hitting her with a slipper. Later, when she was struggling to breathe as a result of his actions, he refused to get her medical help. 

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The court heard how Gerken had sent an angry voice message over Whatsapp to the puppy's owner in which he said the puppy had 'sh*t everywhere'. 

The message continued: "I have just beat her from one side of the room to the other. 

"I don't give a f**k. That is how it will be with me. She ain't gonna do that again because she cannot f**king walk."

Later he sent a series of further messages telling the woman that there was 'something wrong' with the dog and she was struggling to breathe.

Sentencing Gerken, magistrates told him: "The dog died as a result of what was done to her.

The Oxford Times:

"You were determined to cause harm and you made threats that you would cause further harm to the dog. 

"You were in a position of responsibility. You used a slipper as a weapon. 

"You did not call or take the dog to the vet or seek advice even though you were aware she was unwell."

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Gerken's solicitor, Richard Davies, told the court his client felt shame and remorse for what he had done and that the act was completely out of character.

He was given a ten per cent discount on his sentence for changing his plea to guilty. 

Supporters shouted 'love you Cal, see you next week' as he was taken away from the dock. 

As well as the prison sentence, the 27-year-old was banned from keeping a dog for ten years. 

A third charge that alleged Gerken had assaulted a woman was dropped by prosecutors.