ANIMAL charities and dog lovers have slammed a ‘joke’ of a sentence after a man who threw a dog at a TV escaped jail.

Dad-of-two Rafal Kulik, 38, hurled mix breed dog Max at the screen from around four metres away in a fit of anger.

Despite the impact breaking the screen, family pet Max escaped unhurt.

Blackburn with Darwen Councillors Paul Browne and Jim Smith said the sentence was too lenient, while a Hyndburn dogs charity said the incident was ‘shocking’ and ‘totally unacceptable’.

Kulik also threatened to throw acid in his wife’s face and kill her during violent outbursts, Burnley Magistrates Court was told.

He was sentenced to a community order, with 100 hours of community service, a 12-month conditional discharge, and must pay a total of £340 compensation.

Steve Wood, founder of Hyndburn Stray Dogs in Need, said: “If people are the type to lash out then they will lash out at the nearest thing to them, whether it’s another person or the cat or the dog.

“These people need to go on anger management courses. I can’t be doing with cruelty of any kind, it is just shocking and totally unacceptable.”

Kulik, originally from Poland but now living in Ball Street, Nelson, admitted sending an offensive message by a public communications network, on May 8, and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, and causing £40 damage to the TV, on May 7.

He also pleaded guilty to damaging a £150 wing mirror belonging to Slawomir Szymanski and assaulting Mr Szymanski by beating, on May 30.

Coun Paul Browne said: “This is absolutely appalling. This person should be in jail.

“The dog is completely defenceless and has done nothing to deserve this, it is shocking.

“The person should certainly be banned from keeping animals in the future.

“Getting away so lightly makes a joke of the law. The sentence is very lenient. Such cruelty to an animal should carry an automatic jail sentence.”

Coun Jim Smith said: “I am a dog lover and have been brought up with dogs all my life so I find it very hard to understand how anyone could do this.

“The sentence certainly sounds a bit light, a jail sentence would be a warning to people that this behaviour is not acceptable.

“It is also equally important that the person is banned from ever owning a dog again.”

The court was told Katarzyna Kulik who had been married to the defendant for 19 years, said he was a heavy drinker, and she had to go out looking for him regularly.

He had been out drinking between May 2 and May 4, and she told him she was leaving him.

Prosecutor Parveen Akhtar said: “She thinks that annoyed him.”

On May 7, he was verbally abusive, and had then turned up at school when she had gone to collect one of the children. He told her to get in the car, but she refused, and told him he was drunk.

Miss Akhtar said when the family returned home Kulik returned to the property again about 8pm, and there was another row.

The court heard on May 7, the dog was between the defendant and his wife, and he threw it across the room.

Miss Akhtar added: “The elder child came in and took the dog away. It wasn't injured.”