Teens get community service for microwaving cat
Amanda Ferguson, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Thursday, September 4, 2008 6:09PM MDT
Two Camrose teens who pleaded guilty to killing a neighbour's cat by putting it in a microwave were sentenced to 100 hours of community service Thursday.
Justice Shauna Miller ruled the two teenagers will be put on one year probation for their role in the gruesome case. They are also banned from owning a pet for two years and must pay $500 in restitution to the family.
They have also been placed on a curfew for one year and aren't allowed to play violent video games.
The case comes after two Camrose teenagers, both 16, pleaded guilty in July to unlawfully causing pain and suffering to an animal.
The two boys, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, also pleaded guilty to two counts of breaking and entering.
Three 16-year-old boys and a 13-year-old teen were charged in early 2008 after a family pet was found dead in a microwave. An RCMP investigation revealed the cat died when the appliance was turned on.
The two boys, both 15 at the time of the crime, offered statements to the court before the judge handed down her decision.
"I am really sorry for what I did and I can guarantee it will never happen again," one said.
"I am very sorry for what I did," the other said. "I can't believe I was involved in something with this intensity of wrongess. I don't plan on hurting or harming any other families."
Court had previously heard the suspects put the cat in the microwave, turned it on for 10 minutes and listened to its screams before it died.
A family friend of the homeowners discovered the dead cat, named Princess, on Dec. 30 while the family was away on Christmas vacation.
The house had been broken into and trashed.
Police later found the words, "The cat is in the microwave. Nice cat. You had a nice cat," scribbled on a kitchen cupboard.
Chris Miller, the defence lawyer for one of the teens, says the boys are good kids who did something wrong.
"It's an appropriate sentence," he said. "I know that's difficult for some people to accept."
The boys had no previous criminal history leading up to the incident. During the trial, a judge ordered psychological assessments on both teens.
A group of animal activist, who stationed themselves outside of the courtroom for all the teenagers' trials, said they are disappointed with the sentencing.
"For them to virtually walk away ... it's not that tough of a sentence," said Tove Reece, an activist with Voice for Animals.
Two other youth pleaded not guilty to similar charges. Their trial is scheduled for Nov. 17.