A BARROW family has described the horrifying moment they discovered their dog Oscar had been killed.

Chrissie Price spent the morning of November 15 visiting her family with her two-year-old son Leon, having left her Yorkshire terrier dog Oscar with her then boyfriend, John Hall.

When she got back to her Barrow home, she discovered it was empty, and so she phoned Hall to find out where both he and Oscar were.

John Alexander Hall outside Furness Magistrates' Court After stalling for some time, Hall eventually returned to Miss Price's flat, but she quickly realised all was not well with Oscar.

Miss Price's brother-in-law, Peter Braithwaite, described the heartbreaking scene that unfolded.

"John returned with a limp-and-unresponsive Oscar and couldn't quite explain to Chrissie what had happened," Mr Braithwaite told the Evening Mail.

"Chrissie rang her sister Kay and her brother Lance in an inconsolable state, crying as she told them 'he's gone, he's gone, my baby's gone'.

"Lance then went to the flat and found Oscar lying in a towel on the sofa, showing no signs of life. Meanwhile Kay quizzed John about what had happened, asking if he had fallen or eaten anything he shouldn't.

"John eventually went on to admit he had hit Oscar to get him to move while they were out walking. Chrissie was an emotional wreck, wondering how she was going to break the news to her son."

Mr Braithwaite, a trained community first responder, examined Oscar and found a number of injuries including bruising to his head, a graze, and a mark on his neck and torso.

After Oscar was pronounced dead, the RSPCA carried out a post mortem and discovered Oscar's neck had been broken. The animal charity then decided to prosecute Hall after police statements provided enough evidence to prove he had been responsible for Oscar's injuries.

At Furness Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, Hall, of Low White Close in Barrow, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Oscar.

He was given a 16-week suspended prison sentence and banned from keeping animals for five years.

The 19-year-old will also be fitted with an electronic tag requiring him to remain indoors between 7pm and 7am for 12 weeks and was ordered to pay £300 court costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Mr Braithwaite said after the sentencing: "Chrissie and her son have been left heartbroken. They have a big hole in their lives and miss Oscar dearly."