Via The Magistrate’s Blog , a sentencing problem:
|The victim in the case: died from heart attack after being put in washing machine|
A woman killed a cat by putting it in a washing machine after arguing with her boyfriend, a court has heard.
Diane Hannon, 42, from Old Colwyn, Conwy, put the deaf cat, called Paws, on a full cycle after an argument with her boyfriend, who owned the pet.
The six-year-old cat suffered a heart attack, severe burns and loss of fur.
Hannon admitted causing unnecessary suffering and cruelly ill-treating an animal and was warned by Llandudno magistrates that she may face jail.
Her sentencing has been adjourned for reports until 10 January.
Further details of the case on the BBC site.
The Magistrate, Bystander JP, gives the law on the matter (he thinks it’s the Protection of Animals Act 1911, which now carries a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine, six months in prison, or both.
What sentence do people recommend? There’s a lengthy discussion going on there, particularly interesting because several magistrates are participating and are giving their reasons.
Putting aside my immediate reaction that crucifixion is probably too good for her, I think it has to be a short custodial sentence unless the pre-sentence report gives particularly good reasons for doing something else. That’s partly because I recalled that a woman in Norfolk was given six weeks last year for killing a cat in very similar circumstances, but mostly because I think that if this degree of cruelty to an animal doesn’t merit custody, albeit not for very long, then I can’t imagine what would. But others in the discussion give powerful reasons for suspending the sentence and giving her a community service punishment instead. Life ban from keeping animals, certainly.
Any ideas, anyone?
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