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Man found guilty of attempting to kill neighbour's cat
3:48pm Monday 4th November 2013 in News
A HEREFORD man who tied a slipknot around the neck of his neighbour’s cat was today found guilty of attempting to kill the animal.
Karl Dyke, aged 53, of Escley Drive, Redhill, had admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal at an earlier hearing in August.
But the 53-year-old told Hereford Magistrates Court that he did not want to kill the pet – only teach it a lesson.
This claim was successfully disputed by prosecutor Peter Love at today’s hearing.
The court heard how, in July this year, Dyke’s neighbour Tracey Lawrence saw Dyke carrying her cat – which she thought to be in distress.
Mr Love told magistrates that Mrs Lawrence had waited on Dyke’s drive while her husband Michael entered Dyke’s garden.
Michael Lawrence said, when giving evidence in court, that when he opened the door to the shed he found Dyke hanging the cat from a rope.
The cat’s face was contorted and it looked “moments from death”, he said.
“I was shocked, I just couldn’t believe it. He had a smile on his face while doing it.”
A brief altercation followed, Mr Love said, and the cat ran away – later found hiding underneath a vehicle.
When taken to Belmont Vets to be examined at a later date, the animal was found to have a number of minor injuries including a sore neck. The pet had also suffered soft tissue damage to its neck and had a small lesion on the lower lip.
Dyke, defended by Matt Lewis, said he had been trying to teach the cat a lesson.
It had been soiling his garden, he said, and wanted to deter it from entering his property again.
His intention was to tie the cat to a table in the shed for a few hours and release it when he went to bed.
He admitted it had been a “very foolish thing to do” but was not intending to kill it.
But Roger Phillips, the chairman of the bench, said magistrates were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Lawrence’s evidence was correct.
“We are sure he was trying to kill the cat and will sentence on that basis,” he added.
Dyke was released on conditional bail. He will be sentenced next week.