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Friday, October 28, 2011

Pensioner kills neighbour's cat with air rifle as it was chasing birds away

-Retired builder admitted 'losing control' before the shooting
-Bird lover fined £400 for potshot at five-month old Hartley

By Nadia Gilani

He said that he had thought the ginger and white cat was feral.

A retired builder shot his neighbour's cat with an air rifle because it was chasing birds in his garden, a court heard.

Eric Reeves, 68, shot five-month old Hartley after 'losing control' on August 8 at his home in Bradenham near Dereham, Norfolk.

Reeves admitted a charge of causing unnecessary suffering but claimed he had not realised the cat belonged to his neighbour, Nicholas Townley.

The cat survived and managed to walk back to his owner's home, King's Lynn Magistrates court heard.

Jonathan Eales, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA said: 'Mr Townley examined the cat and found bleeding coming from his right-hand side and when he tried to clean the wound the cat was sick.

'Mr Townley took the cat to see a vet who told him the cat had a puncture wound which would have been caused by a fall or an air gun pellet.

'As Mr Townley didn't think it was a pellet, the cat was given antibiotics', it was reported in The Daily Telegraph.

An X-ray later revealed that the air gun pellet had punctured the cat's intestine.

Mr Townley found his pet in distress the next morning and took it back to the veterinary surgery but it died on arrival.

Reeves later went to see Mr Townley at his home where he admitted to the shooting.

He explained that he shot the animal as he was having problems with feral cats scaring birds from his garden.

The court heard that Reeves feeds wild birds that come to his garden and when he saw the cat, he 'lost it'.

Ian Graham, defending said: 'He has shown a lot of remorse and is horrified by the pain the cat suffered.

'He is a bird lover and likes to spend his money on bird feed.

'He also used to have a cat himself. He has no bad attitude towards animals or cats and offered to pay for the vet bills but that offer was rejected.'

Reeves was ordered to do 100 hours' unpaid work and pay £400 in costs.

RSPCA inspector, Dave Padmore said: 'This sends out a clear message that it is unacceptable to go around shooting animals.'



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