A SOLDIER who launched a defenceless puppy into a wall in a fit of rage before strangling it was slapped with a mammoth fine and banned from keeping mammals.

Joe Easter was seen by terrified neighbours carrying out the sickening attack on labrador puppy Charlie near his home in Lochinver, Bracknell.

RSPCA inspectors arrived at his address to question him and found the wounded pet was struggling to breath as a result of the beating.

X-rays revealed Charlie had broken at least six ribs, had bloodshot eyes and a swollen face.

Serving soldier Easter, 27, admitted a single count of animal cruelty and was fined more than £2,500.

RSPCA investigation Sharon Chrisp said: "We were contacted late at night on 26 August last year by an anonymous source who claimed Easter had been seen slamming his puppy against a wall in the communal area of the block of flats he lived in.

“When my colleague attended the address and asked to see the dog she was concerned for him as he appeared to be struggling to breathe and took him straight to a vet.

"Easter claimed Charlie had got caught in the door accidentally but later admitted, in interview, that he had lost his temper and there had been an incident, although he refused to go into detail.

“However, we were able to get further evidence from a witness who said they saw him slamming Charlie against a wall three times. They were terrified and wanted to say something but were scared for their own safety."

Easter was fined £2,692 - the second largest fine ever issued by Reading Magistrates' Court and ordered to serve a two-year community order.

He admitted the charge at an earlier hearing and was sentenced today (Friday).

Charlie, who was just 12 weeks old when he was seized by police, was taken into foster care before finding a permanent and loving home.

Speaking after Easter's sentencing, Charlie's fosterer Amanda Ward said: "Charlie has been a joy to foster, he has truly adapted to living with a family and is the most entertaining, fun, loving dog you’ll meet.

“He is a very intelligent dog who has learnt many commands whilst in my care; including ‘Sit’, ‘Down’, ‘Stay’, ‘Roll-over’, ‘Paw’ and ‘Spin’.

“Charlie enjoys playing with other dogs and finds them huge fun, he loves to play football with them and race around now he is fully healed.

“Charlie is now fully socialised with young children, dogs, cats and horses and behaves impeccably around them. He loves to cuddle up with my eight-year-old son after they’ve finished playing in the garden together.

“Charlie has definitely settled in very well and is proving to be a wonderful addition to our family.”