A security worker left two dogs to die in a hot car boot after neighbours complained about their loud barking.

Richard Armstrong, 47, left the pair of security dogs shut in the boot of his Vauxhall Astra estate on a hot April day during lockdown last year, when temperatures hit around 24C.

Passers-by saw the animals in the back of the vehicle in Ilford, east London, and called police, who found one of the dogs dead, while the other had collapsed.

Security dogs Hector and Yardie, both Belgian Malinois, were kept in the back of the vehicle with a fan running to try and keep them cool, but with no evidence of water.

Hector was found lying on his side with flies around his mouth amid a strong smell of urine and faeces, while Yardie was rushed to a vets' for emergency surgery.

The vet who tended to Yardie described her as a 'heatstroke emergency' and said she suffered from hypothermia, muscle tremors, an irregular heart rate and a body temperature of 40C as they desperately tried to cool her down and relieve her pain.

The vet said she would not recover and Yardie was put down, after securing permission from Armstrong.

Armstrong told police he put them in the car because his east London neighbours had complained about their barking.

The dogs’ kennels in the car boot were just about large enough to stand, but there was not enough room to move around or turn, the RSPCA said.

RSPCA inspector Kate Ford went to investigate the scene at the time of the discovery on April 20 of last year.

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Armstrong was found guilty of one count of causing unnecessary suffering to his two dogs by leaving them in a hot car, at Ilford Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (August 11).

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £849.

Inspector Ford told the court: "I saw in the boot section of the car there were two separate dog cages or kennels – one was empty with diarrhoea towards the back of it. In the other was a deceased Malinois type dog called Hector.

"Mr Armstrong told me that there is an air conditioning system in the van that works from a separate battery and is independent from the ignition of the car needing to be on.

"He said that he'd left the boot door open but that the dogs tended to 'jump up and down when they heard any noise' and that this must have caused the boot to close, leaving the dogs shut inside in the heat. He also thought the fan must have stopped."

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