Suspended sentence for man who bludgeoned kitten to death

Court orders man, 59, who says he killed five week-old kitten with a wooden joist  ‘because it looked lethargic,’ to undergo treatment, also placing him on probation, as well as handing him a suspended sentence.

A man who bludgeoned a kitten to death ‘because it looked lethargic’ has been ordered to submit to medical treatment.

Police Inspector Chantelle Casha arraigned a 58-year-old man from Santa Lucia, Victor McKeon, before Magistrate Anthony Vella this afternoon, charging him with animal cruelty and killing a domestic animal.

Sources inform the MaltaToday that the accused had killed a five week-old kitten by hitting it with a wooden joist. The man, who described himself as “knowledgeable about animals” had told police that he had done so for “humane reasons” as the kitten appeared lethargic and must have been sick.

Police were called when the accused was seen throwing the dead animal into the road. Seven more kittens were found at his home, five of them newborn.

In court this afternoon, defence lawyer Benjamin Valencia pointed to the man’s early admission, explaining that the man suffered from a mental health condition, which however, was not identified in court. Valencia requested the court order a ban on the publication of the accused’s name, but, the court declined.

There was “absolutely no sense” in the accused’s actions and the man appeared to need psychiatric assistance, the court held. “Rather than a sentence of punishment, he needs supervision. A fine or prison sentence is not going to help anyone here.”

Valencia said the accused was “very sorry for his actions”.

The man was given a one-year prison suspended for three and placed under a probation order. A treatment order was also imposed.

The court explained to the accused that he would receive whatever treatment he needed during that time.