July 2023

A man was caught on camera kicking a cat to death

A Coleraine man was caught on camera kicking a cat to death.

Mark Carson of Maythorn Avenue pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the unnamed ginger cat while he was the animal’s keeper on March 24, 2020.

The court heard how the badly injured cat was found at the rear of Carson’s home and a member of the public took the animal to the vet for treatment.

CCTV footage showed Carson repeatedly kicking the cat, who died a short time later.

A post mortem revealed that the animal had suffered badly broken ribs as well as other injuries and had died from “traumatic injury”.

The court was told that during a “sustained attack” the cat had “travelled seven feet” before being kicked several more times.

Carson was filmed returning to the scene and “flicked [the cat] over with his foot” while he was still alive, but made no attempt to save him.

When he was identified by the incriminating evidence, the defendant said he and his partner had been allergic to the cat and suffered “a bad reaction” to the animal. Although the court was not provided with any evidence of this

District Judge Peter King told Carson: “Your liberty is hanging by a thread and I take this extremely seriously”.

He added: “this is a case that has a significant public interest. This sort of gratuitous violence is a red flag for future offending. Don’t be surprised if the outcome involved a period of custody”.