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Sydney surgeon sentenced for bashing ex-girlfriend's dog

Date

Emma Partridge

Sydney surgeon  Nicolas Oddone leaves Downing Centre District Court after his sentencing hearing for bashing his former girlfriend's dog.

Sydney surgeon Nicolas Oddone leaves Downing Centre District Court after his sentencing hearing for bashing his former girlfriend's dog. Photo: Getty Images/Mark Nolan

A Sydney surgeon has been handed a two-year good behaviour bond after he broke more than a dozen ribs of his former girlfriend's papillon dog.

Oncologist and Macquarie University lecturer Nicolas Oddone was also fined $5000 and ordered to pay more than $15,000 in vet bills and legal costs on Thursday.

Oddone, 40, was found guilty of one count of animal cruelty last month after he severely beat Prinny, owned by the woman he was dating, at a Woolwich unit in June 2013.

Prinny the papillon had more than a dozen ribs broken.

Prinny the papillon had more than a dozen ribs broken.

The bashing also caused the dog to suffer a collapsed lung, internal bleeding and muscle damage, according to documents tendered by the RSPCA. 

Magistrate Janet Wahlquist said the doctor escaped a more severe punishment of home detention or a suspended sentence only because of his previous good character and "generous treatment" he had given to financially strained patients.

During his sentencing at the Downing Centre Local Court, the prosecution argued the surgeon had beaten the three-kilogram dog because he was jealous about the amount of attention lavished on it by his former girlfriend.  

Ms Wahlquist said the beating was "seriously cruel" and was appalled that a helpless animal had been treated in such a way.

"This is a moment of great shame for you. You will suffer a considerable amount of contempt by members of the community," she said.

Oddone's lawyer said his client maintained his innocence but then went on to argue the actions were a "knee-jerk" reaction to the dog defecating on the carpet inside the unit.

"The little dog had issues with diarrhoea," his lawyer said.

"Mr Oddone had serious concerns about the [poo] as he had children aged one and three [crawling around]," he said.

"It was a single act, it wasn't ... repetitious actions." 

He conceded the medical evidence tendered looked "terrible" but said his client was in the middle of a stressful situation and a relationship breakdown. 

"[The dog] is now leading what one would call a normal life." 

Oddone was convicted of bashing Prinny while the woman he was dating was in the shower.

The pair had been dating for five weeks and Oddone was separated from his wife at the time of the relationship.

A letter of support from his wife, with whom he has since reconciled, was tendered to court but she did not attend the proceedings. 

Ms Wahlquist said she accepted the attack had not been planned but said it was a very serious offence that had left the dog with a changed character and the long-term effect of an out-of-place rib. 

"I can't understand why you did this, being the member of the community that you are," she said, looking directly at Oddone.

The court heard Oddone was forced to close down his website after receiving a number of hate letters following the publication of his conviction.

Oddone left the Downing Centre through a back entrance and declined to comment to a waiting media pack outside.

The animal cruelty charge carried a maximum penalty of two years' jail and a fine of up to $22,000.

The RSPCA NSW is pleased with the result, a spokesman said.

"It sends a clear message to the community that animal cruelty will not be tolerated," said inspector Slade Macklin.

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