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Ex-councillor Robert Payne jailed for killing kittens

Category: England

Published: 23rd Dec 2011 17:42:45

A former city councillor who killed four kittens in scenes "unimaginable cruelty" has been jailed.

Robert Payne, 36, who represented the Keighley West ward of Bradford Council, West Yorkshire, swung the four-month-old cats round his house.

He broke their skulls and most of their limbs and decapitated two of them.

Payne of Ethel Street, Keighley, was jailed for five months for animal cruelty with one month for breaching a suspended sentence for fraud.

Police and RSPCA officials found three kittens in a freezer and blood spread around the house.

Payne, who was drunk when police arrived, told officers he "must have got angry about something, picked up one of the cats by its stomach and used it as a battering ram, smashed its head against something".

Stephen Wood, prosecuting, told Bradford Crown Court that a neighbour called police on 15 November this year when she heard banging and the sound of a cat screaming.

"The police went inside and they were met with what the prosecution submit was an appalling scene... Prior to their deaths, these kittens had been subjected to unimaginable cruelty," said Mr Wood.

Payne, who bought the kittens over the internet, told police he was not "100%" sure what had happened but said it was "more than likely" he had killed them.

After the sentencing, Det Insp John Priestley said: "We welcome the conviction of Robert Payne for what were very serious and disturbing offences of animal cruelty.

"Officers who attended his address found distressing scenes inside in which injuries which can only be described as horrific had been inflicted on a number of cats at the property."

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BBC News, 2011. Ex-councillor Robert Payne jailed for killing kittens [Online] (Updated 23rd Dec 2011)
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