Mervyn Harding, a British expat living in Rawai, has been charged with animal cruelty and three forms trespass, including trespass while carrying a weapon and trespass onto private property at night, Capt Weerayut Tanyasirisukvorakul of the Chalong Police told The Phuket News today (July 18).
Police action over the attack came on Tuesday after Chalong Police Chief Col Therdthoon Sroisukphaphan ordered Chalong Police Deputy Chief Lt Col Sanan Janrong to investigate videos posted online showing a foreign man attacking a dog in front of a massage shop near Nai Harn Beach.
The man was seen arriving on his motorbike and parking in front of the shop. He retrieved a metal rod from under the seat and walked into the area in front of the shop and repeatedly struck the dog with the metal rod, before leaving on his motorbike. (See story here.)
Officers went to Harding’s house in Rawai at 8:30pm to question him and take his statement, Capt Weerayut explained.
“We questioned him about the incident. At first he denied it, but then admitted it when we showed him the video,” he said.
Through Harding’s statement and other evidence, police confirmed that Harding arrived at the shop at 00.07am on July 16, Capt Weerayut said.
“He carried a steel rod 50cm long into the shopfront area and used it to hit the massage shop owner’s dog. He hit the dog many times then fled by motorbike,” he said.
Harding said that he attacked the dog because it had attacked his dog, Capt Weerayut noted.
“He said that he hit that dog because it kept fighting with his dog. He said he loved his dog very much and that he wanted revenge. He did say it with a sad face,” Capt Weerayut added.
As agreed with police last night, Harding presented himself at Chalong Police Station this morning to be charged.
“He was taken to Phuket Provincial Court about 10am today,” Capt Weerayut said.
“I filed charges of trespass under Section 358 of the Criminal Code, trespass by carrying arms under Section 365(2) and trespass at night Section 365(3), as well as animal cruelty under Section 20 of the Animal Cruelty and Provision of Animal Welfare Act,” Capt Weerayut confirmed.
“He admitted all the charges,” he said.
Harding was arraigned and at police request has been denied bail.
“I insisted that he be denied bail. Now he is being held in the detention cells at the court,” Capt Weerayut said.
“I have reported this case to the British embassy, Phuket Tourist Police and Phuket Immigration,” Capt Weerayut confirmed.
“His wife (sic) begged me not* to have her husband deported, but that is up to Phuket Immigration,” he said.
Harding has yet to have the charges heard against in court, Capt Weerayut confirmed.
"That might take up to a month," he said.
* Sincerest apologies for the omission in the original posting of this story