Cat killer locked up after kicking, strangling and suffocating family pet

The judge described the killing as ‘one of the worst cases of animal cruelty’ he had seen.

Dudley Magistrates' Court where the case was heard
Dudley Magistrates' Court where the case was heard

A sixth-former who abducted and tortured a school friend’s family cat to ‘teach it a lesson’ after the animal had scratched him has been locked up by a judge.

Alexander Phillips, a boarder at Old Swinford Hospital School, in Oldswinford, Stourbridge, repeatedly kicked the cat, called Mollie.

He then tried to strangle and drown her before finally suffocating the much-loved pet and hiding her body behind a sofa after returning to the house.

The prosecutor said the sinister attack had ‘overtones of a Stephen King novel’, while District Judge Steven Jonas described Phillips’ actions as ‘one of the worst cases of animal cruelty I have ever come across’.

Mr Stephen Blower, prosecuting, said it was thought Phillips provoked the 10-year-old rescue cat into scratching him.

Phillips, aged 18, returned to the house in Stourbridge a few days later and sneaked her out in a bag.

Back at his school accommodation, he ‘kicked the cat as hard as he could until he saw blood coming from her mouth’ said Mr Blower.

Then he grabbed the animal by the neck and tried to strangle her.

Half dead, the cat was put in a drawer so she would not be found while he went to play on his Xbox with the owner’s son.

Old Swinford Hospital School, in Oldswinford, Stourbridge

Phillips later told police he also placed the animal under a tap of running water.

The court heard that when he returned to his room, the cat was dead in the drawer, either from its injuries or having suffocated.

“But the unsavoury aspects of this case don’t end there as he took the cat back to the house and placed it behind the sofa in the living room,” said Mr Blower.

Expert opinions were sought from two vets. One said the animal had suffered ‘intolerable and extreme pain and suffering’ while the other described the cat’s fate as a ‘prolonged, sadistic attack amounting to torture.’

Phillips, who continued to visit his friend’s home in Stourbridge while the cat was missing, finally confessed what he had done to the school matron who informed the family.

He claimed to love the cat but told police he ‘felt rejected’ by her after she scratched him.

Mr Patrick Currie, defending, said Phillips suffered from mental health problems, including Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD.

His father’s death had had a ‘substantial’ impact on him, leading to anger issues. Phillips had killed the cat on an ‘impulse’, he claimed.

Phillips, of Barrell Down Road, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and to criminal damage by destroying the animal.

He was sentenced to 17 weeks in a young offenders institution.

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