Hoyland Woman Laura Cunliffe Jailed 14 Months for Killing Kitten ‘Mowgli’ in Microwave
A British woman who killed her pet kitten by cooking it in a microwave oven has been sentenced to 14 months behind bars.
BBC reports 23-year-old Laura Cunliffe of Hoyland, near Barnsley, put her kitten Mowgli in the microwave because she believed it had attacked her pet goldfish.
Cunliffe told Barnsley Magistrate’s Court that she placed Mowgli in the oven and set it for five minutes but removed the animal after a minute upon realizing what she’d done. But the damage had been done and Mowgli later died.
District Judge John Foster called the crime an “act of utterly horrendous cruelty” and sentenced her to 14 months in jail. She is also banned from ever owning pets again.
“I have concluded, after careful thought, that the utterly barbaric nature of the act that you carried out in relation to this animal does demand a deterrent sentence,” Foster declared.
Cunliffe’s solicitor, Alan Greaves, had argued that his client suffered from psychotic depression and had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act 20 times.
Greaves told the court that Cunliffe hears voices and believes fictional depictions on television are real. He also insisted his client “loved [Mowgli] more than anything else.”
“She doesn’t know what’s happening, she hasn’t a clue,” a relative yelled from the court’s public gallery.
“This is a failure of medical services, judge,” shouted someone else.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said she hoped the sentencing would prevent similar crimes in the future.
“This was such a sad case and clearly this poor kitten would have suffered terribly over a prolonged period of time,” she said. “Sentencing is a matter of the courts but we hope that this means that other animals will not have to suffer in the future in this way.”