A former soldier has been jailed for 18 weeks after he savagely kicked an injured cat to death in the middle of the street.
Anthony Delaney, 30, was captured on CCTV footage kicking the animal, booting it in the air and then attacking it again as it laid defenceless against a wall.
The cat died from its injuries shortly after RSPCA inspectors arrived at the scene at around 5am on 22 September in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.
Delaney was handed an 18-week jail term and was banned from keeping animals for five years. He initially argued he kicked the cat to put it out of its misery. The former soldier admitted he had been drinking.
Tameside Magistrates' Court heard that driver Charlotte Lewis-Dobson first spotted the cat and immediately contacted the RSPCA for help before moving her car in front of the injured animal to protect it from other vehicles.
Delaney and his group of friends approached her and told her to "drive away" after she asked them to leave the cat alone. She told court the animal was distressed, in pain and crying out loud when the attack took place.
Chair of the bench Catherine Elliott said: "This was a deliberate act of malicious cruelty to an already injured and defenceless animal. We would be failing in our public duty if we did not pass a custodial sentence."