Conviction imposed on man who microwaved cat
Published Saturday, May 31, 2008 8:36AM EDT
VANCOUVER - The B.C. Supreme Court has reversed a not-guilty verdict for a man accused of putting a cat in a microwave.
A provincial court judge in Cranbrook, B.C., originally found John Hughes not guilty, ruling the cat had been seriously injured before Hughes placed it in the microwave for a minute and that he didn't do it to cause the animal suffering.
According to court documents, Hughes told his girlfriend, Sara Kons, that night that the cat was severely injured when a couch leg broke, crushing it.
Kons suggested breaking the cat's neck to put it out of its misery, but she returned to find Hughes had strapped a weight around the animal and was just taking it out of the microwave.
Justice Frank Cole ruled the provincial court judge erred and there was strong evidence the accused knew his actions would cause unnecessary pain and suffering to the cat.
"The respondent had previously stated that he hates cats and that he had talked about what it would be like to put a cat in a microwave," Cole said in his ruling. "On the night of the incident in question, he weighted down the cat, placed it in the microwave, and activated the appliance."
The court heard Kons yelled at Hughes and started to cry after seeing the cat struggle to breathe.
She testified Hughes then threw the cat at her, where it died at her feet.
"This is strong evidence upon which to find that the respondent knew and intended for his actions to cause unnecessary pain, suffering and injury to the cat," Cole ruled.
He found Hughes guilty and ordered him back to a Cranbrook court for sentencing.
A sentence date has been set for July.