Reform UK candidate for Exmouth previously fined £2,000 for kicking dog

Reform UK candidate Garry Sutherland (right) received a £2,000 fine last year after being found guilty of kicking a dog
-Credit: (Image: Facebook)

A Devon-based candidate for Nigel Farage's Reform UK party is banned from keeping dogs as pets after once being hit with a £2,000 fine for kicking a canine, it has emerged.

Garry Sutherland, 62, who is currently campaigning for the Exmouth and Exeter East seat for the party, was found guilty in August 2023 at Weymouth Magistrates' Court for causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. It came after he was caught in the act of kicking a dog on July 24, 2022 in the village of Chideock, west Dorset.

Legal documents, inspected by The Mirror, have revealed Sutherland's two-year ban on owning dogs, as well as orders to complete 200 hours of unpaid work within the upcoming 12 months. It also emerged that Sutherland initially pleaded not guilty on November 3, 2022, but was eventually found guilty.

A spokesman for Reform UK confirmed the charges to The Mirror, but alleged that the kick towards the dog was done with the aim of preventing it from attacking people.

Addressing his conviction in a post shared on X (formerly known as Twitter), on March 31, after it made headlines on MailOnline, Sutherland stated: "A more accurate headline would be 'former bomb disposal officer saves family from dog attack.' But we mustn't let the truth get in the way of electioneering. Eh?".

This week saw Sutherland become the subject of further scrutiny on social media, as posts regarding his conviction garnered tens of thousands of views on platform X. A specific post, which gained 24,000 views on its own, reported that Sutherland's campaign X page had been closed down.

The account, named "Brexit Buster", brought to light the following: "Looks like convicted dog abuser and Reform UK Ltd prospective parliamentary candidate Garry Sutherland has run for cover after the exposure of his recent court case and sentencing. Fines and costs totalling nearly £2,000, banned from keeping a dog, 200 hours community service."

Further digging carried out by The Mirror discovered that Sutherland had previously made a journey to London to attend an event at which former Tory MP, Andrew Bridgen, drew connections between increased death rates and COVID-19 vaccinations. Furthermore, Sutherland's own constituency account is said to have retweeted vaccine sceptical content on X.

In the Exmouth Journal, Sutherland has described himself as a "husband, father, and patriot, who served as a bomb disposal officer in the British Army."