A dog walker from Leamington Spa has been charged for kicking an elderly cat that later died.
Terry Bree, 71, was sentenced at Warwickshire Magistrates’ Court for causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. During the hearing, CCTV footage that had been captured on a doorbell camera and subsequently posted on social media was shown.
Bree pleaded guilty and was ordered to complete 300 hours (two weeks) of community work.
I had Lenny since he was a kitten. I feel sickened and shocked that someone could do this to him
Owner of deceased cat
The incident occurred on September 16 when Bree was walking a dog. He called the dog towards him and put it on a lead before grabbing the dog’s neck and shaking it several times.
Following this, Bree walked towards the 21-year-old cat, Lenny, and kicked it, causing it to hide underneath a car on the road.
Bree, of Brunswick Street, Leamington Spa, claimed he had gotten angry after his dog’s nose was scratched by the cat in an incident that was not caught on the doorbell camera.
The Prosecutor, Nabiha Ahmed, described how, shortly before 7:00am, Bree “viciously kicked the victim’s cat” on Hastang Fields, Leamington Spa.
The court listened to an impact statement from Lenny’s owner who said that the cat’s health “went downhill” rapidly after the attack, leading to its death. However, medical reports on the cause of the animal’s death were inconclusive.
Ms Ahmed said that the victim has “not been sleeping properly” since the incident.
She feels “sickened and shocked that someone could do this” and strongly believes “the shock caused his death.”
Defence Lawyer, Jas Thiara, said that her client was aware of the public outcry that the case has caused. He had been a dog owner for 35 years and had experienced “issues with cats” during previous walks.
Bree reported himself to the RSPCA, but Thiara reminded those present at the hearing that “there is no medical evidence that the kick caused the death of the animal.”
The bench considered Bree’s guilty plea and previous good character when handing him a 12-month community order and banning him from owning or keeping a cat for the next five years.
Furthermore, Bree was ordered to pay £200 in compensation, £185 in costs, and a victim surcharge of £114.