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The sickening moment diplomat’s son battered labrador puppy 20 times

December 8, 2010

From The Daily Mail
By James Tozer

A diplomat’s son who viciously kicked and punched his puppy because he was ‘having a bad day’ after being turned down for a job has narrowly avoided being locked up for the horrific attack.

Mohammed Abou-Sabaa, whose father is a prominent Tunisian official, was caught on CCTV raining down more than 20 blows on his labrador, Poppy, as she cowered in terror.

In a final, sickening, attack, the 21-year-old student was filmed kicking the blameless pet down a flight of steps outside his luxury city centre flat.

But despite his behaviour being branded ‘despicable’ by RSPCA inspectors, magistrates agreed to let him walk free from court, imposing a suspended prison sentence and banning him from keeping animals for four years.

They told him they were letting him off because he was in full-time education – however it emerged yesterday he is likely to face disciplinary action from the authorities at Manchester University over his conviction for animal cruelty.

Brazen Abou-Sabaa punched and kicked the dog outside the entrance to his building, stopping when a fellow resident went indoors before resuming the unprovoked assault.

When he appeared in court, shocked magistrates asked for the gruelling six-minute video footage to be stopped because they couldn’t bear to sit through it all.

It shows the uncomprehending, mild-mannered pet cowering while Abou-Sabaa beats it ferociously, stopping only to mop his brow.

At one stage he yanks the puppy up by its neck then slaps it to the ground, also standing on the terrified dog with his full weight.

Finally he uses his knee to launch her down a stairwell.


The First Video, Caught on CCTV: The sickening moment diplomat’s son battered a non-human animal – a labrador puppy – 20 times because he was ‘having a bad day’

Vodpod videos no longer available.


If the above is illegal and socially unacceptable, what is the below?


Caught on video: The sickening  lives hellishly endured by non-human animals because of … ???

Vodpod videos no longer available.


An investigation was launched after the appalled caretaker saw the attack on CCTV and contacted the RSPCA.

Poppy was seized by RSPCA inspectors and has made a full physical recovery from the attack in July.

Abou-Sabaa told investigators he had been having a bad day after learning he had failed with a job application and was training the dog.

But David McCormick, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told Manchester magistrates it was a sustained and brutal attack – a ‘wanton and deliberate act of cruelty.’

‘The defendant was seen wiping sweat from his brow and only stopped the assault when people entered the building and then carried on when they had gone,’ he added.

John Hera, defending, said Abou-Sabba had acted out of character. ‘Something clicked inside him and there was lots of anger. He is full of remorse.’

Abou-Sabaa, from Manchester, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Poppy.

Magistrates decided not to jail him immediately because of his age, his guilty plea, and because he was in full-time education.

Jane Dyson, chairwoman of the bench, said: ‘This is simply a terrible demonstration of cruelty to a vulnerable puppy. None of us have seen anything like it – you have just avoided prison.’

He was instead given a six-week sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work.

He was also banned from keeping animals for four years and told to pay £1,000 costs.

Afterwards RSPCA inspector Paul Heaton said: ‘It was a despicable act. I was incensed when I saw the video – it just went on and on.

‘He said he had applied for a job apparently and had not got it and he was having a bad day.

‘I do not know of any training school that says that smacking a dog is a way of training it.’

Abou-Sabaa’s father, a Tunisian diplomat, travelled from his home country to hear the case.

He said afterwards: ‘I have had words with my son and my family and I want to apologise for what he did.’

Abou-Sabaa is studying mechatronics – a combination of engineering and electronics.

While a criminal conviction for animal cruelty doesn’t automatically bar him from the course, he could be suspended for bringing the university into disrepute.

A spokesman for Manchester University said: ‘We are looking into this case.’

Poppy is being looked after by the RSPCA and is likely to be rehomed in the new year after the court signed her over to their care.

Mr Heaton added: ‘Poppy is fine now. She is doing okay.’

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Miss Dina Michael permalink
    December 8, 2010 3:40 pm

    I’m once again left slightly baffled at the lack of punishment..
    There is no reason that can justify Mr Abou-Sabaa behaviour .. i’m left wondering what kind of day Mr Abou-Sabaa will have the 1st time he does the same to his future wife… and then possibly to his child..
    Why is it so hard for people to see violence.. cruelty.. abuse for what it is.. the victim is irrelevant .. it’s the act that’s punishable.. i’m saddened by the double standards.. and the fact the victims worth in society is what dictates the punishment or lack of…


  2. Lyn Faull permalink
    December 9, 2010 12:11 am

    This is appalling… but I can’t help but wonder – who stood there and filmed this brutality for so long without intervening?


  3. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
    December 9, 2010 5:48 am

    diplomat’s son denied entry into the human race, or perhaps, more sadly, he qualifies….

    heartless, pampered, piece of garbage:(


  4. Dogman permalink
    December 9, 2010 12:38 pm

    You can email him at Tell him what you think of him


  5. DeeGee permalink
    December 16, 2010 10:56 am

    His father will pay the university off. But they need to kick him out for the disgrace. I think in Turkey, when that student killed that stray cat that lived outside a store in a box (taken care of by shopkeepers), his girlfriend left him, the school expelled him and the military was wanting him!! Legally, he only received a light penalty but what actually happened to him publically was even better. I heard too that he got beat up and everybody in Turkey was after him and he had to leave town.


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