A Reform UK candidate standing at the general election was once fined for animal abuse in west Dorset.

Garry Sutherland, 61, the party's candidate for Exmouth and Exeter East,  was fined £2,000 fine for kicking a dog in Chideock.

He was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal animal at Weymouth magistrates court on June 27, 2023.

The incident took place on July 24, 2022 in Lanngdon Lane in the west Dorset village.

Sutherland was fined almost £2,000 and is banned from keeping animals as pets.

He was told to pay £1,200 compensation, costs of £650 to the Crown Prosecution Service as well as a victim surcharge payment of £114 - totalling £1,964.

Sutherland was also banned from owning a dog for a period of two years.

In addition the 61-year-old was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work within 12 months from his sentencing on August 3 2023.

A post shared on Sutherland's social media in March addressed his conviction.

He said: "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?"

A Reform UK spokesperson confirmed to the Mirror newspaper that Sutherland had kicked the dog but claims that it was to stop it from attacking people.