St Albans brothers guilty of cat cruelty

TWO St Albans brothers have been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to their cat by failing to provide veterinary care, leading to the animal being put down.

The black and white male cat, which had no name, had dental disease and had developed a tumour in his mouth, which forced his eye to prolapse.

John, 63, and Michael Green, 64, of Green Lane, were sentenced to 100 hours unpaid community work, and both ordered to pay costs when they appeared at St Albans Magistrates Court last Thursday, May 10.

The brothers had previously pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to their pet. Magistrates were shown photos taken by RSPCA officers who removed the cat from the brothers’ care.

Mark Jones, prosecuting, said the pet had to be put down by vets on October 12 because of his serious condition.

He explained: “His left eye was hanging out like a huge marble, and the smell was very bad. The jaw was hanging open, and the left eye was infected. It was severely anaemic.”

Mr Jones added that the cat struggled to eat because of his sore jaw, which would not open or close properly.

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He said: “The cat’s teeth were rotten and falling out. The vet said the animal was suffering. The vet said the cat would have been in urgent need of attention.

“The pain would have been severe for at least two weeks, and probably longer. Early attention would have prevented the suffering.”

Christopher Bowen, defending, said Michael Green had noticed discharge from the cat’s eye, but assumed it would clear by itself. The tumour had been visible for six weeks.

Mr Bowen added: “The defendant said he wasn’t aware that the cat was in pain.”

He said the brothers were filled with “horror” about what had happened to the pet which they had adopted five years ago and cared “deeply” about.

The brothers were told by the magistrates that because of their early guilty plea they would receive a sentence of 100 hours unpaid community service each, to be carried out within the next 12 months.

They were also ordered to pay costs to the RSPCA and the vet, totalling �647.28 each.

However the defendants appeared visibly shocked when told that they would also be disqualified from keeping any animals for five years. This would result in the immediate removal of another pet in their care, a 17-year-old cat named Mitsy.

They were told that while this would no doubt cause some distress to Mitsy, the RSPCA were ordered to seize her immediately, or the duo would be in breach of the magistrates’ disqualification order.