CRUEL Liam Gash threw a cat out of a window – from the 7th floor of a Portsmouth tower block.
Gash, 21, has now been banned from keeping animals after hurling the cat from the top floor of Omega House, in Omega Street, Somers Town.
The cat, a 13-year-old tabby called Poppy, was left with serious injuries and suspected brain damage – but miraculously survived the 75ft fall.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard Gash was visiting friends at Omega House on the evening of June 7 this year.
He and his pal asked if they could stay over and offered their friend, Adam Baldwin, 27, who lives at Omega House and owned the cat, £20 for the trouble.
Mr Baldwin went to bed, leaving Gash and his friend Nathan Bateman drinking vodka and coke.
Graham Dubber, prosecuting, said Gash’s friend was stroking the cat.
He said: ‘The cat was in the bedroom with them.
‘The cat seemed to be perfectly healthy, purring around them. He was stroking the cat at which point Mr Gash said “I am going to chuck that cat out of the window”.
‘Mr Bateman implored him not to do this saying “Liam don’t do that, don’t do it”. Before he could stop Gash, he was holding the cat. He was at arm’s length from the window and just threw it out.’
The court was told Gash said ‘don’t say nothing, we didn’t do nothing’.
The cat was found by local residents and taken to a vets, where it was diagnosed with a broken pelvis and suspected brain damage.
Mr Dubber said: ‘Her eyes were flicking from side to side, an indicator that the nerves between her brain and eyes were damaged.’
Vets at animal charity PDSA performed emergency surgery on Poppy to repair her pelvis.
Mr Dubber said: ‘She recovered well from surgery. Since the surgery she’s walking well but has weakness in her hind limbs.’
Gash pleaded not guilty, but magistrates found him guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Gaylene Coles, defending Gash, said he plans to appeal.
She said: ‘There’s no doubt this is a particularly nasty and heinous crime in relation to animal cruelty and one the public will be particularly aggrieved by.
‘The night that the incident happened was certainly one of drunken silliness and foolishness.’
She said that while Gash denied being the one responsible he was horrified by what happened to the cat.
Magistrates sentenced Gash, of Blendworth Crescent, Leigh Park, to a nine-month community order and nine-month alcohol treatment programme.
He was banned from owning or being involved in any aspect of the keeping of animals for five years.
Chairman of the bench Joanna Murphy said: ‘In throwing that cat from the 7th floor, you could not fail to understand the consequences could prove fatal.
‘It was a disgraceful act and cannot be tolerated. We are pretty appalled by what we have heard today.’
‘I am disgusted by what has happened’
POPPY’S owner Adam Baldwin said he was horrified the cat was thrown from his flat window.
The first he knew about it was when police knocked on his door in the early hours to say residents had found the injured moggy outside.
He said: ‘The cat was from my previous relationship and was the last thing I had from my ex and my kids.
‘It was a family cat and meant a lot to me. I am disgusted by what happened.
‘I let him stay here and I put my trust in him, then he goes and does something like that.’
Mr Baldwin said he had been forced to rehome the cat as he could not afford to pay for the medication it needs to take every day.
The PDSA has now found Poppy a new home.
PC Kevin Parker, from Portsmouth Central police station, who investigated the case, said: ‘Throwing a defenceless cat from a 7th floor window is clearly a sick and abhorrent act for which there can be no justification. It seems in this case that the only motivation for it was for the offenders own self gratification so I’m pleased that he has been brought to justice.’
A statement from the RSPCA said: ‘It never stops being distressing to see vulnerable creatures being caused immense suffering at the hands of humans.’