A 29-year-old man, who appeared in Guernsey's Magistrate's Court for picking a cat up by its neck, has been given a one year probation order for animal cruelty, as well as criminal damage and theft.
Richard Le Conte had been left alone for a short while with 'Lenny' the cat, who he claims began scratching at him.
While in a "heightened emotional state", he picked Lenny up by the neck, injuring the cat.
The following morning, Lenny's owner found him to be lying dead under a table. The defendant contacted the GSPCA for advice and declined an autopsy.
When the owner came to bury the cat the following day, she noticed blood coming out of his nose and became suspicious.
Pictured: Le Conte was remanded in custody for six months while his case progressed through Court.
Le Conte expressed concern that he may have killed the cat to his mother, who got in touch with the complainant. However, after three post mortem examinations, it is thought Lenny could have died from a pre-existing brain abscess.
The defendant has a previous animal cruelty conviction from 2011, when he shot his family's chicken with a crossbow.
Defence Advocate Liam Roffey said May 2019 had been an "extraordinarily difficult time" for Le Conte, who was going through a "crisis" with his mental health.
The defendant also pleaded guilty to a count of criminal damage and the theft of a speaker during that time.
He had been remanded in custody for the past six months while his case was adjourned ten times, for various reasons. With this in mind, Judge Gary Perry decided not to send Le Conte straight back to prison. He will have to report to a probation officer for the next year and has been disqualified from owning, keeping or working with animals for five years.
Pictured top: Le Conte was sentenced in Guernsey's Magistrates's Court.
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