SCORAND – Craig Mills, who is 22, sunk his teeth into two-year-old cat, Pippa, and the cat had to be put down as a result of her injuries.
Mills carried out a ”disgraceful act of cruelty” said a sheriff as he was jailed in Fife, Scotland.
Horrendous footage of the actual crime was viewed by police after his then partner David Walker secretly filmed him and the footage ended up on social media.
Mills, who is from Lumphinnans, abused the pet in a series of incidents between April and September 2015.
In the disturbing video, Mills is apparently unaware of the camera and is seen gripping the cat and striking it hard on its body with his hand.
The camera is then moved and Mills can be seen again, still holding Pippa the cat, and delivering several more blows.
After the ninth blow, Mills can clearly be heard twice screaming at the poor cat: “Who are you hissing at?” He then forces the front half of the cat’s head into his mouth and bites.
The desperate animal manages to jump clear, appearing to leave Mills with a possible injury to the side of his face.
When Mills gets up to leave the room and a clearly shocked David is seen recovering the camera.
In court just the other day, Sheriff Craig McSherry was told by Mills’ defending lawyer that psychiatric assessors had diagnosed Mills with an “unstable personality disorder”.
He went on to explain that at the time Mills had been a “relatively broken man”, who had endured an “unsettled at best and tragic at worst childhood”, with addictions to alcohol and cannabis.
But – he said – that Mills is now “miraculously reformed” and now “looks and sounds like a different young man”.
He recognized that the sheriff would be seeking a custodial sentence, but ask that he not “throw away the key”.
Sheriff McSherry referred Mill’s actions a “disgraceful act of cruelty towards a young animal”.
He said that he would have sought to impose the maximum 12-month sentence – however – Mills’ guilty plea forced him to reduce it to eight months.
An additional six months were later added to his sentence for further charges, bringing his total sentence to 14 months.
Mr. Walker took the video to expose his partner’s actions but was later forced into hiding after his home was attacked and he was accused of involvement in the abuse.
Animal protection charity OneKind director Harry Huyton states: “This is a horrific case of prolonged violence against a family pet which we hoped would have resulted in a lifetime ban on keeping animals.
“The fact the judge handed down the maximum jail sentence available to him reflects the severity of the case so we are deeply disappointed the court didn’t see fit to impose a lifetime ban, or any length of ban, on keeping pets.
“While Mr Mills will serve time in prison, a lack of ban in our view is an overly lenient sentence for this level of abuse
“Given the level of violence involved in this case it seems wholly inappropriate that Craig Mills should be free to own pets again in the future and this is a huge concern to us given the threat he poses to animals.”
OneKind has recently urged Scottish Government to amend the law so that when a ban is not strictly imposed judges must give their reasons in open court.