A Northern Ireland man who beat a puppy to death with a hammer and broadcast the attack on social media has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.

Kyle Keegan, 24, from Co Armagh, was accused of causing unnecessary suffering to “Sparky,” a 12-week-old cross breed puppy.

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He had been due to go on trial in Craigavon Court on Wednesday but his lawyer submitted a guilty plea on his behalf Tuesday.

BBC News - Puppy attack man Kyle Keegan admits killing dog https://t.co/SnukBf1iCM

— Helen Stewart 🐾 (@PetsLovePeople) June 6, 2019

The prosecution asked that a second count of criminal damage accusing Keegan of destroying the puppy "without lawful excuse" - should be left on the books following the guilty plea, reports BBC News.

The judge granted the request as well as an application from the defense that sentencing be adjourned pending the completion of a pre-sentence probation report.

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Keegan, was released on continuing bail ahead of his sentencing on July 4.

The dog's remains were found in a bin in the Ailsbury Park area of Lurgan in February 2018.

We responded quickly to reports yesterday evening alleging an 11 week old puppy had been brutally killed in Lurgan with a hammer. We have arrested two male suspects aged 23 & 16 and recovered the remains of the little dog & a hammer. An very through investigation is on going.

— Jon Burrows (@PSNICIJBurrows) February 6, 2018

A post-mortem examination of the pup's remains confirmed it had sustained a number of fractures as well as severe brain trauma.

Police were alerted to the incident after a horrific video appeared on Snapchat early last year. It showed distressing footage of the puppy, getting hit with a hammer before being put in a microwave.

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12-week-old "Sparky" who was bludgeoned to death by Kyle KeeganPSNI Facebook