Chippendale man convicted for throwing cat down seven-storey garbage chute

A 21-year-old Chippendale man who pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty was convicted and sentenced in Downing Centre Local Court on 1 July 2019 in relation to offences committed against his then-girlfriend’s two-year-old male Ragdoll cat, Hibala.

The first offence related to an incident when, apparently jealous of the attention she was providing the cat, he threw Hibala down a seven-storey garbage chute, which ultimately resulted in the cat losing most of his tail.

In an agreed fact document tendered on sentence, the Court heard that on Friday 27 April 2018, Hibala was found stuck in the bottom of the garbage chute of the apartment building in which the couple lived. Hibala had been left in the man’s care, and when the pair returned home at 7:30 p.m. that night they found Hibala missing.

A vet determined that Hibala had a fractured tail, open lacerations exposing the bone in his tail, matted fur on his body, and missing fur and severe inflammation around his tail area. The vet concluded that two-thirds of Hibala’s tail was necrotic and non-viable and required removal to give the cat a chance of survival. It was removed, and after four days in hospital care Hibala was sent home with a treatment plan.

In relation to that offence, the defendant was convicted and fined $3000, and placed on a two-year community corrections order.

The second offence occurred between 9 and 23 June 2018, whilst Hibala’s owner was overseas. In a photo she requested from the defendant, she noticed an injury on Hibala’s nose. She asked the defendant to take the cat to a vet, but after he refused, a friend of hers collected the cat and took him to a vet. Hibala was found to have a severe wound with fractured bones in his front left paw, and minor injuries to his eye, ear and nose.

Surgery was required to remove the dead, damaged, infected tissue around the cat’s paw. He spent six days in hospital care where he was administered pain relief, antibiotics and bandage changes.

In relation to that matter the defendant was convicted, fined $3000, and ordered to complete a three-month intensive corrections order.

The prosecution applied for and was granted an order prohibiting the defendant from purchasing, acquiring, and taking possession or custody of any animal for 10 years.

“I don’t know what to say to [the defendant]. I have no idea what to say to a person who places a cat in a garbage chute,” said Magistrate Still upon sentencing. “The early guilty plea is the only thing keeping [the defendant] out of jail.”

RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector Scott Meyers commented on the distressing nature of the case, saying, “Hurting an animal out of pure jealousy, one that belongs to and is loved by your partner no less, and letting it suffer over a prolonged period of time is a shocking display of callousness.”

Hibala was discharged to his owner after she returned from her overseas trip and they moved into a new apartment without the defendant.

All charges brought under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (NSW) 1979.

For more information, or an interview with a RSPCA NSW spokesperson, please contact:
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