A cruel thug who was captured on shocking CCTV battering his terrified dog next to a canal has been banned from keeping animals.

Carl Pugh, 35, viciously punched American bulldog Jeff five times because he had splashed his foot with water during an evening walk.

Footage of the attack shows the yob grabbing his pet by the scruff of the neck before whipping him across the face and body with a lead as he cowers on the towpath.

Pugh then punches the dog a further three times before dangling him by the collar over the canal in Bilston, West Mids.

After being caught by the police, he claimed he hit the animal after being dragged into the canal and argued footage made "it look worse than it was".

But he was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog after failing to turn up for his trial last month.

On Wednesday (20/12) Pugh, of Bilston, was handed a two-year ban from keeping animals and a 12-week community order, with a curfew.

Evening Times:

He was also ordered to pay £100 costs and an £85 victim surcharge at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

After the case, RSPCA inspector Vicki Taylor said: "Pugh claimed that Jeff dragged him into the canal and that he got his foot wet, so he hit him.

"He said that the CCTV made it look worse than it was, and he said that he loved the dog and would never harm him.

"But the CCTV showed a different story. On the footage, Pugh can clearly be seen hitting Jeff five times and then picking him up and holding him over the canal.

"There is no excuse to treat any animal like this. Jeff is a lovely dog and he hasn't got an aggressive bone in his body.

"It is so sad that he went through this."

The attack was caught on camera at 9.15pm on June 28, helping police and the RSPCA track down Pugh.

The shocking footage, which left Jeff visibly shaken, outraged thousands of people after it went viral on social media.

It was captured by software manager Steve Childs, whose house overlooks the Wednesbury Oak Loop canal.

Speaking after the case, he said magistrates should have dealt Pugh a harsher punishment.

The 41-year-old added: "It's quite a lenient sentence.

"Not being able to keep a dog for two years, is that really going stop him from doing it again?

"I have never seen anything of this severity. I was in complete shock, disgust and disbelief.

"When I played it back, I could not believe what I was seeing. The dog did nothing to provoke this.

"It got the camera to prevent burglars, so to pick up something like this was a surprise."

An RSPCA spokeswoman added: "This was a shocking case of animal cruelty, which led to an innocent dog to suffer unnecessarily."