A 27 month jail term and life ban for man who abused kitten
A man who inflicted appalling levels of physical violence and psychological suffering on his partner's kitten has been sent to prison for 27 months.
The jail term given to Lewis Hudson at Liverpool Crown Court in July is believed to be one of the longest ever handed down for offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
The RSPCA worked in partnership with the police to prosecute 23-year-old Hudson, who pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences in relation to Binx. He also admitted an offence of putting a person in fear of violence by harassment as part of the case that was brought to court by the CPS.
The court heard how the appalling catalogue of abuse began in the months after Hudson had moved into a flat with his now ex-partner - who owned Binx - in August 2021. Incidents included leaving the 11-month-old kitten in the shower with the hot water running for long periods of time, shooting her with pellets he had soaked in household cleaner from his BB gun and hitting her with a mop soaked in bleach. He had also filmed himself stamping on the kitten wearing steel-toe cap boots.
The abuse continued for about eight months and on one occasion Binx was later found by her distraught owner lying motionless and matted with blood in the bath where she had been hit with a shovel in the shower on July 20 last year. This was done with such force that some of the young animal's teeth had been broken.
Then on August 15 last year in a disturbing series of text messages sent to his partner, Hudson told her, "if ye don't get home now am gonna kill it." She returned home to find the kitten dead - her body covered in blood.
Merseyside police were called and Hudson was arrested. Binx's body was later collected by RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes, who led the investigation on behalf of the animal welfare charity.
In his witness statement the inspector said: "Binx was wrapped in a bag, covered with a towel and contained within a cardboard box. I saw she had a number of fresh looking wounds around her nasal area and chin. I noted there were no obvious signs that might suggest Binx had been involved in a road traffic accident and her claws did not appear scuffed.
"The inside of her mouth was bloodied and I noted that both upper canines were broken. When handling Binx I noted a crisp packet type sound coming from the chest area which can be a sign of subcutaneous emphysema and indicative of chest trauma."
A post mortem examination was arranged by inspector Joynes and was paid for by the RSPCA. It showed that Binx's body was covered with cuts and bruises and she had suffered fractured ribs and a lung puncture, the latter which had led to her death.
"Faeces and blood were reportedly seen in multiple areas of the premises, indicative that the cat was injured and mobile for a period of time immediately prior to death," said a report by an independent veterinary expert.
"The most likely cause of death in this animal, otherwise healthy, was a traumatic and non-accidental pneumothorax. It is clear that the animal suffered multiple, different, blunt traumas and that the animal was conscious when this occurred.
"Furthermore, the healing fractured rib and the "aged" bleeding, support the existence of a previous traumatic event to the chest, many days ahead of the fatal set of injuries listed above."
Speaking after the sentencing hearing, inspector Joynes said: "This case involved stomach churning and sadistic levels of cruelty over a prolonged period. The extreme suffering Binx endured at the hands of Hudson was used to hurt and punish Binx's owner - who was obviously devastated by what happened to her beloved pet.
"This is one of the most extreme examples of physical and psychological suffering inflicted on an animal I've seen in 14 years with the RSPCA. This case involved nothing short of torture and is exactly why the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) bill was introduced in 2021 to increase sentencing powers for the most extreme cases of animal cruelty."
Hudson had admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to Binx, contrary to section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Sentencing him to 27 months in prison and banning him for keeping any animals for the rest of his life, Honour Judge Brian Cummings described Hudson's actions as a "sickening catalogue of cruelty to a defenceless animal".
He was given two years and three months in relation to both offences against Binx and a five month sentence for the harassment offence - to run concurrently and a ten year restraining order. He was also given a life ban on keeping all animals.In mitigation, the court heard Hudson was genuinely remorseful and accepted wrongdoing.
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