This is from the Yorkshire Post:
A SOUTH Yorkshire woman who committed “truly horrendous cruelty” by cooking her cat in a microwave to punish it for eating her goldfish has been jailed.
Laura Cunliffe, 23, of Hoyland, near Barnsley, was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison for her crimes at Barnsley Magistrates Court today.
The court heard that she put one-year-old black and white kitten Mowgli into her microwave and set the timer for five minutes – before coming to her senses after one minute, when she took the pet out.
She even poured water onto her kitten to cool it down – but the pet died around an hour later.
Jailing Cunliffe, District Judge John Foster told her: “This was an act of truly horrendous cruelty on your part to an animal that had come to trust you and rely on you and for which you had shown care.”
Prosecutor Brian Osborn told the court that on September 28 last year, Cunliffe was woken by her cat who jumped onto her bed, and when she went downstairs, Cunliffe noticed her pet goldfish was dead and immediately blamed the cat, the court heard.
Mr Osborn said: “Upon her discovery, she was upset and angry with the cat so she put it in the microwave.”
“She took the cat out of the microwave and put it on her kitchen side,” said Mr Orsborn.
“The cat was still breathing so she contacted her step-sister and took the cat to her house, where it subsequently died.”
Cunliffe’s shocking crimes only came to light when she checked herself into Barnsley Hospital the next day – for an unrelated matter – where she made a “tearful confession” to a nurse on the ward.
She was seen by two nurses, who both deemed her to be mentally stable despite a background of mental health problems, and reported the matter to the RSPCA.
An RSPCA officer then conducted an interview with Cunliffe’s step sister.
In mitigation, Mr Alan Greaves, defending, said that Cunliffe had a history of depression and psychotic behaviour and was prescribed three different types of medication.
But the court heard that Cunliffe had not taken her medication as it put her in a deep sleep and she was worried the cat would kill her goldfish.
Adding another reason why Cunliffe hadn’t taken her medication, Mr Greaves said: “She hadn’t taken her medication because the Queen had told her not to.”
District Judge John Foster handed Cunliffe a lifetime ban on keeping animals, adding that no appeal could be considered within the next five years. She was also ordered to pay £776 vet costs.
This is from The Mirror :
A woman who killed her kitten by cooking it in her microwave has been jailed for the “horrendous” act of cruelty.
Laura Cunliffe thought the four-month-old female puss had attacked her goldfish Barnsley, so set her microwave to five minutes and shut it in.
She then arranged for black and white kitty Mowgli to be buried after she died a slow and painful death.
Cunliffe was jailed for 14 months after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to an animal at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard the woman, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, took Mowgli out after one minute, having realised what she’d done, but she died shortly after, the BBC reports.
Her solicitor Alan Greaves said Cunliffe had a history of mental illness and had been sectioned several times.
District Judge John Foster added: “This was an act of utterly horrendous cruelty on your part on an animal that, as far as I could see, had come to trust you and rely on you.”
A court heard previously the kitten was in a distressed state when she was taken out the microwave.
RSPCA prosecutor Brian Orsborn said: “The animal could not get its breath and died about 90 minutes later.”
Mr Orsborn added that Cunliffe disclosed what she had done three days later when she was at Barnsley Hospital.
After the hearing, Lynsey Harris, the deputy chief inspector for the RSPCA, said in the 13 years she has been in the job she had never dealt with a case like it before.
She said: “It is a particularly horrendous case because the period of suffering for the kitten would have been awful.
“The kitten was about four-months-old and the exposure to the radiation in the microwave would have cooked the animal’s internal organs and that will have been pretty horrendous.
“It is a horrific case in the fact the death of the cat would have been prolonged and it is unimaginable what it would have gone through, taking some time to die.
“Our main aim is to get her banned from keeping animals so there is no risk of any other animals she may come in to contact with suffering.”
Cunliffe was also banned from keeping animals for life.