A hotel worker been banned from owning a dog for ten years after allowing his “gentle” pet’s teeth to get so bad it was in constant pain.

Wayne Hickman, 44, from Penzance appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentencing this morning after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to his pet Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The prosecution had been bought by the RSPCA.

His former partner who had been supposedly looking after the dog at the time had also been sentenced at an earlier hearing.

His defence barrister told the court that Hickman had no money, was in arrears with his rent and was in the process of being evicted from his home.

“He accepts that he can’t have a dog for the foreseeable future and there is genuine remorse that at a time when he was struggling with a relationship breakdown,” he said. “His dog was neglected in a way that it should not have been.”

Sentencing Hickman to 12 months in prison suspended for two years, Judge Simon Carr said the circumstances of this case were “chilling”.

“You were joint owner with your partner of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier,” he said. “One of the features in the reports of this case that I have read is that this was one of the most mild mannered and gentle and amenable dogs it was possible to imagine.

“In some ways that makes the brutality it experienced even worse.”

He said in 2022 when Hickman was living with his partner it was obvious during a veterinary visit paid for by others that this dog needed “substantial” dental care.

The photographs of the dog’s teeth were not easy to look at, he said, and it would be obvious to anyone seeing them that work needed to be done.

“The dog would have been in constant pain,” he said.

He said despite separating from his partner he continued to see the dog and would have been aware it was suffering and the appalling conditions it was kept and yet he did nothing.

He said even if Hickman could not have afforded a vet he could have contacted the RSPCA and any other organisation.

“Instead you chose to close your eyes, turn your back and allow your dog to suffer as this dog suffered every minute of every day with those pains,” he said.

“When you take on responsibility for an animal you take on a huge responsibility. It is you they look to for security and food for treatment when they need it. Taking on an animal is not something you take on part time and you failed consummately in your obligations.”

Hickman was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years and banned from owning a dog for next ten years.

Judge Carr said if Hickman had taken it to trial he would have had no hesitation in sending him to prison. He said his partner, who had greater culpability, had received the same sentence as she had pleaded guilty much earlier.

He said Hickman would pay £1,000 towards the cost of the prosecution, the remainder of the costs of £9,325.88 would be paid from central funds.