‘FRIED cat - £1.20’ were the words scrawled on the wall where a man killed a cat by a cooking it in a microwave.
Paul Owen Henry, from Lea Place, was found guilty of killing the animal when he appeared before Lincoln Magistrates Court on Thursday 5th January.
Cat-owner Andrew Parsons said he felt ‘sick and distraught’ when he arrived home to his Heapham Crescent address to find his 18-month-old black and white cat Suzie dead in the microwave on 26th July 2011.
“I found my cat’s remains in the microwave,” he told the court.
“I couldn’t believe it.”
The court heard how text messages were sent from Henry’s phone to his partner-at-the-time saying ‘just cooking Andy’s cat’ and how writing was found on the wall beside the microwave reading ‘menu - fried cat, £1.20.’
PC Nicholas Williams told the court how he arrived at the flat to find ‘the strong smell of burning meat’.
Henry said that he was asleep and ill on the sofa throughout the incident and accused Phillip William Mathers, 34, from Theaker Avenue, Gainsborough, of killing the feline.
Mathers admitted to attending the address to take the class A drug Amphetamine with Henry and to stealing an electric razor from Mr Parsons, but was acquitted of harming the animal.
Mathers, who said he takes medication for mental health issues to ‘stop him hearing voices’, told the court how he injected himself with liquid Amphetamine in the bathroom. He said he also injected Henry with the drug upon his request, as he was ‘too ill’ to do it himself, before leaving the property.
Upon returning to his home, Parsons found that a light fitting had been torn down and that a dart had been thrown at his LCD-screen television - before making the grim discovery in his kitchen.
The court heard how the cat would have taken an hour to be cooked to death and would have created ‘an incredible stench’.
However, Judge John Stobart said that the 45-year-old showed an ‘overwhelming lack of consistency throughout proceedings’.
Sentencing Henry to six-months in prison and disqualifying him from owning animals, Judge Stobart described the killing as ‘despicable’.
“On 26th July, a cat was killed in a most brutal and sadistic manner,” he said.
“I can’t think of a worse case of animal cruelty or attempt to shift blame in a crime which I can only describe as loathsome’.”
“I’m absolutely sure that Paul Henry had everything to do with what went on in that house, and I have no hesitation in finding him guilty of this charge.”
He added: “I am giving the maximum sentence that I can.”
Lincolnshire Police spokesman Dick Holmes said they hoped this case would send a clear warning to others.
“This was one of the most horrendous examples of animal cruelty that I, or most members of the Force, can recall,” he said.
“Paul Henry fully deserved the maximum penalty and in my view it is regrettable that the sentence is only six months imprisonment.”
He added: “It is to be hoped that the sentence he did get acts as some deterrent to anyone contemplating such acts of cruelty in the future.”
“This was a pretty disturbing crime and we hope this conviction demonstrates our commitment to dealing with offences like animal cruelty.”
RSPCA spokeswoman Catherine Peerless also slammed Henry’s actions.
“Any right minded member of society will be appalled by such a sickening act of animal cruelty,” she said.
“It’s a sad fact of life that people still carry out such horrendous acts and we are pleased that the court has recognised the seriousness of this case.”
She added: “We hope the sentence will act as wake-up call to anyone else who think they get away with causing pain, misery and suffering to defenceless animals.”
“On another, note we would always encourage people to contact the police or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 if they have suspicions of people involved in animal cruelty.”