Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18386
Classification: Drowning
Animal: cat
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Drugs or alcohol involved
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Saturday, Jan 1, 2011


Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Samantha Browning

A "callous" Midland woman has admitted drowning her friend's four cats in a bath.

Samantha Browning drunkenly held the cats under water - one at a time - until they were dead, Sandwell magistrates heard.

Browning, aged 21, of Mason Street, West Bromwich, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to four cats - aged between five and 12 months.

Nick Sutton, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the court how Browning went to a friend's house in Tipton after a party and killed the animals while she was drunk.

"She drowned them one after the other, but claimed that after the third one, she found the fourth was more difficult and she expressed reluctance," he said.

"It's a terrible death - there's no excuse for this. They were young cats, they were intelligent creatures, not kittens with their eyes barely open.

"They were systematically killed by drowning and she accepted that they did struggle.

"The other cats would have been abundantly aware of what was happening.

"They were waiting to be killed. It's hard to imagine a more systematic and callous act and it left me speechless."

Two of the cats' bodies were later recovered having been stuffed into a plastic bag and flung over a fence. The bodies of the other two cats have not been found.

They were killed at some point between January 1 and February 17 this year.

Browning's shocking cruelty came to light after a friend took issue with a posting on Facebook referring to the cats' welfare, added Mr Sutton. The friend, who reported the posting to the RSPCA, said she was told the cats were proving too costly to keep for their owner.

Helen Pinning, defending, said Browning, of previously good character, had "faced up" to her crimes in admitting her guilt.

"She was fully co-operative and expressed remorse. She was crying and very upset at the time of carrying out this act," said Mrs Pinning.

Sandwell magistrates bailed Browning for a pre-sentence report until August 22.

References

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