Hospital worker jailed for killing two kittens

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

A hospital worker has been jailed for killing two kittens within 10 days of their arrival from Cats' Protection.

Aaron Barker, 26, told a court that he came home to find Panther and Baby "bleeding and soiled" in the ransacked living room.

He said the back door had been left unlocked while he was out on a 13-hour shift as a health care worker.

But he was found guilty today (Tuesday, December 19) after a two-day trial at Nottingham Magistrates' Court, which heard that the four-month-old pets suffered "blunt force trauma."

District Judge Leo Pyle sent him to prison for 20 weeks and imposed a life ban on keeping pets.

He told him: "In this court we have heard graphically described the various injuries sustained by those kittens.

"There is higher culpability because your actions had to be deliberate."

Barker had denied causing unnecessary suffering by inflicting physical abuse on the animals on January 20. Because he was convicted and jailed, he was excused paying £1,000 costs to the RSPCA.

Nigel Dicks, defending, said that Barker found them ill when he returned home to Songthrush Avenue, Basford.

"He could see blood in their mouths and their eyes were red. He panicked, blurred, crying and didn't know what to do," said Mr Dicks.

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Barker felt that they had been hurt before he arrived and may have been poisoned.

He agreed to an investigation and Mr Dicks said: "It would be a terrible bluff which got worse and worse with the defendant saying 'have a post mortem'.

"Very clearly, he is supported by close family members, friends and colleagues who are shocked he is here at all.

"They say he is a kind person and someone who is fond of all kinds of animals."

Nottingham Magistrates' Court

Nottingham Magistrates' Court

Paul Wright, for the RSPCA, said black cat Panther had a fractured skull and bleed on the brain.

Black and white Baby suffered five fractured ribs and a ruptured liver.

He told the court: "If anything is more disturbing than the acts, it is the way in which he seeks to deny responsibility for his actions.

"It is a whodunit as far as the court is concerned - he can only blame a phantom.

"There is no forced entry, no muddy or wet footprints of someone coming over the back garden on a January evening.

"It is a phantom who enters the house, took nothing, inflicts injuries and left the kittens to suffer," added Mr Wright.

Barker said that ornaments and a table lamp were smashed and a rug had been moved from one side of the room to the other. He claimed that the back door was unlocked.

He said that he picked up kittens Panther and Baby, taking them into the bathroom to clean them.

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"I tried to make them a little bit comfortable, clean them up and stuff. They were breathing funny, meowing different to normal," said Barker now of Redhill Road, Nottingham.

When he returned from putting his phone on charge, the kittens had moved behind the toilet. He began to rinse Panther and told the court: "I held him firmly and he wriggled out of my hands, jumped up and collapsed on the bath floor. It sounded like a massive thud.

"He went all floppy. I picked him up. I was in hysterics, shaking and panicking.

"I gave him mouth-to-mouth and CPR to keep him alive. I am trained to do it at work," he said.

Vet Christine Jamieson said there was no doubt that the kittens had suffered. "It would have been horrendous because of the injuries to the head and the rib fractures. It would cause a great deal of pain and fright," she said.

There was also damage to their claws which suggested they were "trying to get away," added Miss Jamieson.