A TEENAGER who tried to set light to a firework he had put inside a dead pet dog has been ordered to do 100 hours' community service.
But a court who sentenced Steven Robinson for the sickening attack, which provoked disgust and outrage last October, heard how he received many threats at his Linthwaite home.
He had also been forced to give up his job because of the hatred shown towards him.
Robinson was filmed by another youth using his mobile phone, but a court heard yesterday that that youngster had received only a caution.
Robinson, 19, was working as a self-employed bricklayer when he took part in the shocking incident in Gillroyd Lane, Linthwaite, last year.
His barrister Stephen Wood told Bradford Crown Court that the publicity surrounding his involvement had led to him and his family being harassed and threatened.
Last month Robinson, of Pennine Gardens, pleaded guilty to doing an act which outraged public decency. Mr Wood said since then his client had been forced to give up his work.
"Since he pleaded guilty he and his family have been subjected to harassment," said Mr Wood.
"Since his address was published in the local paper there have been threatening letters put through their letterbox.
"The defendant has had to give up his work as a self-employed bricklayer.
"Before he even attended your honour's court he has already been judged and condemned."
The court heard that a local resident had spotted three youths around something in the road shortly before 11pm.
Prosecutor Helen Sanderson said the witness saw a mobile phone being used to take pictures and saw another youth bending down trying to light something.
"She banged on the window and all three males got in a car and drove off," said Miss Sanderson.
When the woman and her husband went to investigate they discovered the dead Yorkshire terrier in the road.
The animal was later identified as Emmie, a family pet, and its body was later returned to the owners and buried in their garden. Miss Sanderson confirmed that an examination of the dog revealed that it had died as a result of a road accident and there was no evidence that any further damage had been caused by a firework.
Robinson, who had received a police caution a few days before the incident, was arrested five days later and he told police: "I know. I did it. It was sick."
The 19-year-old said he found the dead dog at the side of the road and had put a firework inside it.
He confirmed that his friend had been using his mobile to take pictures, but claimed another youth, who he didn't name, had then lit the firework.
Robinson said that firework came out of the dog and he went back and put another firework in the animal, but they were then disturbed.
Mr Wood said he was surprised that a decision was taken to caution the other youth involved despite the fact that he had been filming the incident on his mobile phone.
"These three people acted in concert. These three people decided to do this act together and what sounds more horrific is that one was taking images of what was taking place," he added.
"The only possible outcome of that would be to show other people what had taken place ... to disseminate by images what had taken place."
Mr Wood said: "In the final analysis, callous though what he did was, the defendant did not kill this dog.
"There was no abject act of cruelty to a live animal."
Recorder Paul Miller told Robinson: "You must understand that the fact that the poor dog had already been killed will not have prevented your conduct from adding to the enormous distress that the owners must have felt and the outrage people have shown.
"I hope that the considerable public criticism you have received means that you never ever do anything like this again and don't trouble the courts again in the future."
As well as ordering Robinson to do the community service work Recorder Miller also said he would be subject to a rehabilitation order for 12 months and would have to pay £250 towards the prosecution costs.