Anger as man who set Cody alight is freed

Andrew Stewart
Andrew Stewart

The man who barbarically set a pet dog alight in Maghaberry has been released from jail.

Andrew Stewart was freed from prison last week after being sentenced for dousing border collie Cody in fuel and setting her on fire.

The three-year-old was so badly burned bones were visible through her charred flesh and she had to be put down.

It is believed Stewart is the first person to be jailed for animal cruelty in Northern Ireland

The two heartbroken boys who owned the pet have had to be reassured by their mother that the man jailed for killing their beloved dog can do them no harm.

Natalie Agnew said her sons, Justin aged 13 and Jake (9), had been left fearful they might run into Stewart in their home village of Maghaberry.

Stewart, from Meadowfield Court in Aghalee, had denied the charge for two years but made a last-minute change of plea on the second day of his trial in Belfast in October 2014.

He was handed a 20-month sentence at Belfast Crown Court, 10 months in custody and the remaining 10 on licence.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mrs Agnew said: “I’ll never get over it, especially in terms of what it did to the children. The damage to them is irreversible.”