A dog owner who ‘viciously’ kicked a cat in an attack caught on a doorbell camera has been ordered to undertake community work.
Appearing before magistrates today, Bree pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal in Warwickshire and was told to complete 300 hours of unpaid work.
The town’s magistrates’ court was told Bree ‘saw red’ and kicked out at Lenny in Leamington Spa shortly before 7am on September 16.
Video of the incident, which was posted on Facebook and other social media sites in a bid to identify the culprit, was played to the court.
In a clip some might find distressing, Bree was filmed calling his dog, Sasha, towards him before putting it on a lead outside homes in Hastang Fields.
He then grabbed the dog’s neck and shook it several times before walking towards the cat and kicking it, prompting it to hide underneath a car.
Prosecutor Nabiha Ahmed said of Bree: ‘He viciously kicked the victim’s cat, who was 21 at the time, into the road.’
Ms Ahmed told the court that Lenny’s owner said her cat ‘went downhill’ and died, although medical reports on the cause of the animal’s death were inconclusive.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Lenny’s owner said: ‘Since this happened I have not been sleeping properly.
‘I wake up during the night expecting to hear him but then remember he has passed away.
‘I had Lenny since he was a kitten. I feel sickened and shocked that someone could do this to him.
‘I strongly believe the shock caused his death.’
Bree, of Brunswick Street, Leamington, claimed he had kicked out after his dog’s nose was scratched by the cat during an incident which was not caught on camera.
His lawyer Jas Thiara said her client was very conscious that the case had ‘caused a lot of public outcry’.
‘My client is a man who has been a dog owner for 35 years,’ she told the court.
Claiming Bree had encountered ‘issues with cats’ during previous walks, the defence solicitor added: ‘He just saw red and he reacted and he deeply, deeply regrets his actions. This is a gentleman of previous good character.
‘He reported himself to the RSPCA.
‘Unfortunately in this case the cat has passed. There is no medical evidence that the kick caused the death of the animal.’
Sentencing Bree to a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 300 hours of unpaid work, chairman of the bench Janis Cauthery told the defendant: ‘We have taken into account your early guilty plea and also your previous good character.’
Bree was banned from owning or keeping a cat for the next five years and ordered to pay £200 in compensation, £185 in costs and a victim surcharge of £114.
Speaking before the hearing, an RSPCA spokesperson said: ‘This footage is extremely distressing and upsetting to watch, and we offer our sympathy and condolences to Lenny’s owners on the loss of their elderly pet.’
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