Man who poisoned his neighbours' dogs claims he is the real victim

Cruel man poisoned his neighbours’ dogs in row over them barking too loudly – but claims HE is the real victim

  • Christopher Gary Downing, 62, pleaded guilty to laying bait in a Townsville court
  • Followed a long-standing feud over allegations the dogs’ barking was too loud
  • Mr Downing attempted to hurt the dogs by hiding rat poison in some dog food 

A man has escaped conviction after cruelly poisoning two dogs which belonged to his neighbours.

Christopher Gary Downing, 62, pleaded guilty to laying bait – dog food deliberately mixed in with rat poison – when he appeared in north Queensland’s Ingham Magistrates Court on Thursday. 

Police prosecutor Sergeant John Moran said the charge followed an ongoing bitter feud with Downing and his neighbour over allegations the dogs’ barking was incessant, the Townsville Bulletin reported.

When rats or mice chew on poison bait, it isn’t long before they disappear and die (stock image)

Queensland man Christopher Downing escaped conviction for attempting to poison two dogs (stock image)

After one of the dogs was seen chewing on a ‘meaty-like substance’ with ‘what appeared to be green pieces of rat poison all the way through it’, CCTV footage was obtained by police from a nearby shop in the suburb of Halifax. 

The sourced footage from July 15 showed a person approaching a home before making a ‘throwing action towards the door before then walking away’.

‘The male person, as he walks across the street, removes what appears to be a white-coloured glove from his left hand and moves out of the camera’s vision,’ Sgt Moran said.

Police executed a search warrant at Downing’s home on July 20, recovering clothing matched by the man in the CCTV footage.

An opened container of Ratsack rat poison was also discovered at the scene.

On July 26 following a lengthy police interview, Downing eventually confessed, before stating he believed the rat poison wouldn’t kill the dogs.

Instead his aim was to scare the owner into doing something about his pets. 

Darren Robinson, Downing’s defence lawyer, said his client was well regarded in the community and his actions were out of character.    

Magistrate Luxton said Downing’s behaviour was potentially ‘very cruel’, before fining him $1000.

Ingham Court House in north Queensland, where Christopher Downing avoided a conviction for poisoning two of his neighbours’ dogs (stock image)

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