A SCOTS care worker has been handed a six month suspension order after hitting his dog with such force it later died.
David Aird struck his chihuahua Archie at his home in Tranent, East Lothian, in February 2021, causing him to suffer a fatal haemorrhage.
A postmortem found that the pooch died from “blunt force trauma” and may have endured great pain before the injuries left him unconscious.
As a result of the incident, the 29-year-old has now been issued with a six month suspension order by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).
The SSSC said: “Social service workers must not behave, while in or outside work, in a way which would bring their suitability to work in social services into question.
“You struck your pet dog on the head with your hand, resulting in your dog’s death.
“You have failed to uphold the law and your behaviour demonstrates a loss of self-control and disregard for the safety of the animal in your care.”
In passing down the suspension the SSSC said: “Committing such a crime of violence raises concerns over your values as it is attitudinal in nature, which can make such behaviour harder to remediate.
“Behaviour of this manner is contrary to the values expected of registered social service workers.
“Your behaviour is likely to have negatively impact the public’s trust and confidence in the profession.
“The public has the right to expect that social care workers, in whom it places its trust and confidence, will uphold the law and will not engage in offending behaviour.
“Your behaviour was fundamentally incompatible with the conduct expected of a social care worker.”
On making their decision, they said: “This was an isolated incident for which you have expressed significant regret and remorse.
“No findings have previously been made against you by the SSSC.
“No findings of previous violent or offending behaviour or subsequent violent or offending behaviour.
“There is no evidence you have acted violently towards any person you have encountered in your social services employment.
“You have shown insight and reflected on your behaviour.”
Despite acknowledging that this was an isolated incident for which Aird expressed significant regret and remorse, the SSSC determined that a six-month suspension from his care duties was the appropriate sanction.
The SSSC found the evidence that proves Aird committed an offense contrary to section 19(1) of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.
Sheriff Peter McCormack banned Aird from owning or keeping a pet for 20 years and fined him £420 at the hearing last year.