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Blackburn man jailed for kicking kitten to death
10:30am Saturday 7th September 2013 in News
A DRUNKEN man kicked his girlfriend’s kitten to death because it ‘got under his feet’.
Blackburn magistrates jailed John Craig Anderson, 39, for killing the 12-week-old black cat, called Luna.
Anderson smuggled the kitten out of his girlfriend Sharon Smith’s house without her knowing.
But the following morning she made a gruesome discovery when she went into the bedroom used by her grandchildren when they stayed with her.
The court was told she stood on something and when she switched on the light realised there was blood on the carpet.
She also found blood on a duvet and on pictures and the walls of the children’s’ bedroom.
Anderson, of Hollin Bridge Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and two charges of assaulting Miss Smith.
He was jailed for five months and made subject to a restraining order for two years which prevents him from having any contact with Miss Smith or approaching her home.
He was also made subject to a lifetime ban from owning, keeping or being involved in the keeping of domestic animals.
Jailing Anderson, District Judge James Prowse said the domestic assaults were relatively low level and would not have attracted a custodial sentence.
He said: “The fact you were drunk at the time is no mitigation.
“To behave as you did towards a defenceless creature is the most appalling offence.”
Philippa White, prosecuting, said Anderson and Miss Smith had been drinking in the ‘den’ in her rear yard and at some stage he went into the house.
She went upstairs and saw him coming out of the children’s’ bedroom with something rolled up in front of him.
Miss White said: “She was concerned he may have stolen something and challenged him.
“He pushed her away and left the house.”
Miss Smith chased him out but eventually gave up and returned to her house.
Shortly after Anderson was banging at the door and as she answered again, he pushed her out of the way but left when she threatened to call the police.
When Anderson was arrested his explanation for the kitten’s death was that he had tripped over it and accidentally trod on it.
He said he had heard that if an animal was injured you could swing it around to try and revive it.
Peter King, defending, said Anderson accepted that when the kitten got under his feet he lashed out in temper.
Mr King said: “He accepts he kicked the cat extremely hard and it struck the wall.
“It was his view the kitten’s neck was broken in that action.”
Mr King said Anderson had experience of newborn lambs being swung to clear their throats.
He said: “He swung the kitten to try and revive it and that explains the blood splattered on the walls.
“He put it on the duvet and tried some CPR but his efforts were fruitless.”
Mr King said Anderson didn’t want to explain what had happened to Miss Smith and her daughter and took it out of the house and buried it.
He said: “He feels he deserves to go to custody for what he did.”
Animal welfare charities have condemned Anderson’s act against a ‘defenceless animal’.
A spokeswoman for Cats Protection in Lancashire said: “We were extremely distressed to hear of this shocking act of cruelty “As a charity that cares passionately about cats and their welfare, we cannot understand how anyone could do such a thing to a defenceless animal.”
The most recent animal cruelty figures released by the RSPCA showed that animal cruelty prosecutions had fallen in Lancashire but the number of animals rescued or collected by the charity had risen.
In Lancashire, cases of cruelty came down from 60 in 2011, to 46 in 2012, but the number of animals taken in by the RSPCA nationally increased from 119,126 in 2011 to 130,695 in 2012.
An RSPCA spokeswoman for Lancashire said: "Cruelty to animals is unacceptable and we urge anyone with any specific information about incidents of it to contact the police or us.
"Causing unnecessary suffering carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison and/or £20,000 fine.
"Where there is evidence, we will investigate and consider bringing those responsible before a court."