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Monday, Jul 31, 2000
Defendant/Suspect: 15 year old boy
A 15-year old boy was found guilty at Tameside magistrates court on April 4 of kicking a kitten to death as it tried to escape a group of cruel school boys.
The teen's name is not available due to his age. The cat suffered massive internal bleeding, collapsed and was left for dead just yards from its home in Bryce Street, Hyde.
He said the cat had approached him as he watched games on a sports field. He said, "It kept getting in the way. I tried to shift it, telling it to move with my leg. I kicked it between the leg and the stomach but not hard. The cat then walked away."
In court the boy said he got his words wrong and should have said, "I meant to stay that I just moved it with my foot."
The cat's owner, Sarah Davies, said Rascal slipped out with its sister at lunchtime. Later on children came to her garden to say the teenager who can't be named had kicked Rascal and the cat was lying dead nearby.
The cat was taken to the vet for post-mortem examination. Vet Gavin Gurnell said the kitten had suffered injuries consistent with being kicked with considerable force. In the vet's opinion, injuries were not sustained in a road accident or fall, "It is far more likely he was kicked."
The reliability of a 14-year old witness's statement was questioned by the defendant's lawyer as it was taken nine months after the incident.
The five-month old tomcat Rascal was thrown from boy to boy before he was kicked into the air.
The owner, Mrs Davies, said "I'm pleased with the outcome. It broke my heart to hear in court of what happened to Rascal. He was just an innocent little kitten playing with his sister."
- Manchester Evening News, UK - Apr 5, 2001
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