EARBY: Jail threat to family pet cat killer

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A RELAPSED alcoholic who killed a cat by slamming it repeatedly against a brick wall has been warned he faces a jail sentence.

Jason Metcalfe (29), admitted killing 17-year-old family pet Bonnie in a drunken rage on September 28th last year.

Reedley Magistrates’ Court heard how the defendant, then living in Goodall Close, Earby, had drunk six cans of Carlsberg Special Brew and reacted violently when the cat had brushed up against his leg.

He grabbed its rear legs and swung it against a wall behind George Street, Earby, four times, and then another wall.

The attack was witnessed by a nine-year-old girl who was playing on her pogo stick nearby.

She recognised the defendant and reported what had happened to her grandmother.

The court heard when Metcalfe was arrested at his home police officers found him drunk and he was slurring his words.

The cat’s blood was found on his clothes and trainers.

The next day he told RSPCA inspectors that he could not remember anything about the incident.

He said he had been a recovering alcoholic for three months but had relapsed on the day of the killing because he’d had problems over the weekend.

Mr Chris Wyatt, prosecuting, said: “This is a serious matter involving a deliberate act of cruelty which resulted in the cat dying.

“It is top of the scale in terms of cases brought before the court.”

A post-mortem examination was carried out at Stanley House Vets which revealed that, prior to the attack, Bonnie had been a fit and healthy cat, and had died because of the severe head injuries inflicted by Metcalfe.

Mr Wyatt added: “Whether he was drunk or not he was clearly in a rage and took his frustrations out on the cat.”

Mr David Lawson, defending, said that Metcalfe’s history with alcohol was an aggravating feature of the case.

Metcalfe, now of Kenilworth Drive, pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to meet the needs of the cat by failing to protect her from pain, injury and suffering as a result of the manner in which she was killed.

Two weeks prior to the killing, Metcalfe was convicted of attacking a man and causing actual bodily harm. He was sentenced to 36 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.

Because the cruelty offence breached the terms of the suspended sentence, Metcalfe was committed to Burnley Crown Court to be sentenced on April 1st.

l The cat’s devastated owner Sarah Lancaster (21), of George Street, said Bonnie had been in the family since she was seven years old and she has since had a tattoo of the cat’s name on her shoulder to remember her.

Miss Lancaster said: “I hope he feels the full wrath of the law.

“I’m disgusted by him. The mentality to do something like that; why would a grown man want to do something like that to something that can’t defend itself?

“We are thinking about getting another cat in the future from the RSPCA.

“It’s strange not having her around after growing up with her. Even though she was a cat she was a part of the family.”

On September 28th, Miss Lancaster had been at a friend’s house when she received an urgent phone call from her parents to come home.

Bonnie’s body had been carried to a neighbour’s house where Miss Lancaster and her father had to identify the body.

She said: “It was heartbreaking to see her like that, something I will never forget.

“Apparently she was yelping when he was attacking her. In your head, you can’t get to grips with that.”