Man jailed for killing kitten

A man who abused and killed a kitten before putting it in a freezer was jailed today.

Joel Joshua White, 20, threw 10-week old kitten Pepsi, which belonged to the woman he was staying with, against a curtain before balancing it on a lampshade suspended from the ceiling and watching as it fell to the floor.

He then strangled the animal and put the body in the freezer.

During his trial at Cardiff Magistrates' Court last month, White, of Longfellow Gardens, Caerphilly, south Wales, admitted using Joanne Bettridge, the woman he was staying with, for money and a place to stay but denied two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a kitten on November 6 last year.

He said Ms Bettridge, 42, accused him of killing the animal because he left her bankrupt and brokenhearted when she saw photos of him with his partner.

Giving evidence behind a screen at the trial, Ms Bettridge said she saw him throw the kitten against the curtain.

She said: "The claws were digging into the curtains. Then he put the kitten into the lampshade to see if it could do any tricks, then it fell down to the floor.

"There was hardly any movement, I thought his back was broken, he was crawling across the floor. Joel picked him up and I was crying my eyeballs out.

"Joel picked him up and wrapped him up in a pillow case and took him out of the room and put him into the freezer."

When asked by RSPCA prosecutor Aled Watkins if Pepsi was alive at the time, Ms Bettridge said: "He snapped his neck in front of my eyes, he just wrung Pepsi's neck."

Today Ed Mitchard, defending, told the court White had a history of mental health problems, including self-harm. He said: "He bears the scars of mental illness, anxiety, depression, low self-worth."

Sentencing White to 16 weeks in a young offenders institution at the same court, Deputy District Judge Mark Layton said: "I take into account your age and your personal and emotional difficulties but this matter is so serious it must attract an immediate custodial sentence."

White was also disqualified from owning or keeping an animal for 10 years.

After sentencing, RSPCA inspector Nicola Johnson said: "Treating animals in this way is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We are very happy with the sentence today and others should take notice - you will go to prison if you behave like this towards animals."

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