15 July 2006
CAT HORROR FILM YOUTH LOCKED UP
A TEENAGER who filmed a cat being repeatedly thrown 50ft off a tower block was yesterday locked up for four months.
Christopher Lees and a 14-year-old girl recorded the assault using a mobile phone as two pals threw the animal four times from a fifth-floor balcony.
Lees, 18, provided a running commentary, Birmingham magistrates heard.
The ginger and white cat named Kharlo was found by its owner but had to be put down after the attack in Druids Heath, Birmingham, last October.
Lees, who had earlier pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, was sentenced to four months in a young offenders institution. The other youths will be sentenced later.
Prosecutor Nick Sutton said: "The pain caused to that animal can only be guessed at. It is shocking."
Teenager detained for cat cruelty
Christopher Lees, 18, provided running commentary as a mobile phone was used to film the cat being repeatedly thrown 60ft from a balcony.
The cat had to be put down after its ordeal in Druids Heath, Birmingham.
Lees, of Wilsford Close, Druids Heath, who admitted animal cruelty at an earlier hearing, was also banned from keeping animals for five years.
Three other teenagers involved, aged 14, 16 and 17, will be sentenced next month.
The cat, called Kharlo and owned by a local student, was put down by a vet after suffering brain damage and multiple fractures last October.
The footage of the cruelty was passed around on mobile phones before it was reported to police and the RSPCA, Birmingham Magistrates' Court heard.
Sentencing Lees, chair of the bench Richard Trengrouse said: "The cat was hurled from a fifth floor balcony and there was untold fear and harm to the animal.
"You were not satisfied with this, you videoed and commentated on it. Your comments in the video were callous and you showed no compassion or decency."
As the oldest member of the group, Lees should have stopped the cruelty from taking place, said Mr Trengrouse.
RSPCA Insp Rob Hartley said: "I'm delighted with the sentence being passed by the magistrates today.
"This was a sick and cruel act on a defenceless animal. It is hard to imagine the suffering this animal was put through by this individual."
The cat's owner Simone Warmington, who lives near the tower block, spoke about how she felt following the attack.
"I was absolutely devastated, I cried, I was distraught really.
"I couldn't get my head around it. She would have been so scared, I will never forget it.