A Ripley man was spared jail for killing a family pet in his garden after returning home from the pub.
Mark Booth, of Lowes Hill, Ripley, had already pleaded guilty to a charge of causing suffering to the feline by killing her in an inappropriate and inhumane manner at Derby Magistrates’ Court on Thursday
On Monday he was handed a 14 week prison sentence, suspended for one year and told he must carried out 200 paid work.
The 53-year-old admitted returning to his home on the evening of August 19 last year having drunk ‘one or two pints’ before twisting the neck of pet ‘Oli’, which he and his wife Rachel had bought as a kitten four years ago.
He then dumped its body in a wheelie bin.
John Sutcliffe, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA told the court: “Mrs Booth thought he had gone to take the cat out into the garden.
“She heard the sound of the wheelie bin lid being dropped. Then she saw what she described as her husband covered in what appeared to be his own blood from the scratches on his arm.
“He had killed the cat saying ‘it had to go’.”
Magistrates heard how Mr Booth had a long standing dislike of the pet.
On the night of August 19, he had returned from the pub at 7pm, claiming to his wife of 27 years that he thought Oli had ‘worms’.
Mrs Booth, now separated from her husband, told him she did not think this was true .
He was then reported to have said to his wife: “The cat’s a nuisance, it has always annoyed you, it’s got to go.
“I’m going to kill it, I’m going out to do it now.”
After he completed the act Mr Sutcliffe, outlining the prosecution case, said Rachel drove to a friend’s house before calling the RSPCA.
An inspector visited the Booth’s home and ‘exhumed’ the body of the animal, Mr Sutcliffe continued, which had been taken out of the wheelie bin and buried in the garden. A post mortem-examination revealed the two paws of the right hand side of the animal were damaged from scratching Booth and the pet had appeared to have been killed by a ‘twisting motion’ to the neck as bones were dislocated.
Mr Sutcliffe said the fact the usually placid pet had scratched her owner was a sign of how much she suffered in an act that lasted around 20 seconds.
Mitigating for Booth, Franza Sadiq said her client was under a lot of ‘emotional pressure’ and that the killing was ‘spur of the moment act’ brought about by ongoing difficulties in his marriage. “One of those difficulties,” she added, “was the cat and its behaviour, either destroying furniture or with its worming treatment.”
Magistrates sentencing him however said this was not a ‘mitigating’ factor in his actions.
As part of his punishment they imposed a lifetime ban on the 53-year-old owning or keeping animals and ordered him to pay fines of £2,458.