A man has pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary harm to a protected animal after a video of him “smashing” a dog’s head against a wall went viral.

Luke Cobb was caught on a ring doorbell camera picking up a dog he was walking by its head and thrusting it against a brick wall repeatedly at a home in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, on November 13 last year.

Megan Attree, prosecuting, at Brighton Magistrates’ Court today said: “The video clearly shows the male and the dog appears to be scared walking away from him, lowering his head.

“The defendant picks up the dog by his head or neck so he is dangling.

“He then repeatedly smashes the dog’s head against the wall – about two or three times for no apparent reason, just smashing the dog's head against the wall.”

In the footage shown to the court, Cobb then lets go of the dog.

A man in the public gallery called out: “Oh my god, that poor dog” as the footage was played.

Ms Attree told the court the dog, called Stanley, was seen to struggle as the defendant walked off, out of shot of the camera.

The Argus: Luke Cobb pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary harm to a protected animal, namely a dog called StanleyLuke Cobb pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary harm to a protected animal, namely a dog called Stanley (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

The 38-year-old, who ran his own dog walking company Harvey’s Walks, issued an apology on social media after the video circulated.

The dog belonged to Michale Gibbs, a client of Cobb’s.

Ms Attree told the court: “When the dog was taken to the vet, the partner of Mr Gibbs took the dog’s collar off the neck and he winced, which he doesn’t normally do.”

A vert surgeon contacted by the RSPCA after it was made aware of the video said it is not acceptable to carry a dog in this way and pets carried like this “can suffer various injuries”.

The vet’s statement, read to the court by Ms Attree, said: “Thrusting the dog up against the wall would also cause the dog fear of injury.

“It raises paws on the second occasion [of being hit against the wall] and expects further pain.”

Mark Charnley, defending, said: “This is clearly a very unpleasant matter, the defendant has acknowledged that from the very start and sent an apology to the client.

“In his discussion with me he never sought to minimize what happened. It was a moment of madness.

“His business is over, it’s finished.”

In the dock today, Cobb, of Ashurst Road, Brighton, spoke to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

A lay bench, chaired by Alison Musker, confirmed he would remain on conditional bail until he is sentenced.

Cobb, wearing a white shirt and black suit, confirmed that he understood that he is not to be in the care of any dogs other than his own while he is on bail.

He could be sentenced to at least 26 weeks in prison, the court heard.

Ms Musker told the court: “We do take account of the very early guilty plea and the fact and admission was made before it even got to the police.”

He is due to be sentenced on May 31 this year.