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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 15:37 GMT
Suspended sentence for cat killer
Diane Hannon
Diane Hannon said she meant to hurt Paws but not to kill him
A woman who killed her boyfriend's cat by putting it in a washing machine has received a four-month suspended jail sentence.

Diane Hannon, 42, from Old Colwyn, Conwy, admitted causing unnecessary suffering and cruelly ill-treating six-year-old Paws, who was deaf.

Paws suffered a heart attack, severe burns and loss of fur.

Llandudno magistrates heard Hannon, who suffers depression, was cat-sitting for Duncan Carthy when the pair argued.

The prosecution said Hannon and Mr Carthy had rowed about Mr Carthy's ex-wife and children while he was visiting his son in July last year.

Paws the cat
Paws was killed after Hannon rowed with Mr Carthy

The trial, in December last year, heard Mr Carthy thought Hannon was joking when she told him over the phone that she had killed Paws.

Glen Murphy, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: "Duncan Carthy called Miss Hannon and asked if the cat was all right, and she replied: 'I hate you. No, I've killed it.'

"Mr Carthy thought she was joking, but on Sunday at 3.30pm, when he returned to his flat, no one was there and he couldn't find the cat.

'I hate you'

"He went into the kitchen and noticed his clothes were on top of the washing machine and found Paws inside the washing machine clearly dead."

Paws' injuries included scalding. He had died from heart failure.

When Mr Carthy phoned Hannon, she laughed and put the phone down, the court heard.

He later found a note she had written on the back of an envelope saying: "I hate you."

When interviewed by police, Hannon admitted that although she had placed the cat in the washing machine to hurt it, she did not know it would die.

The sentencing had been delayed until Monday after a psychiatric report on Hannon had been ordered.

In all my years as an RSPCA inspector, this is the worst act of deliberate cruelty I have ever seen
RSPCA Inspector Kevin Paton

District judge Andrew Shaw, sitting at Llandudno magistrates' court, told Hannon it was the worst act of animal cruelty he had dealt with.

He also gave Hannon a lifetime ban from keeping any pet and ordered her to pay 300 costs.

Hannon's defence solicitor said she had received hate mail because of the case.

Speaking after the case, RSPCA Inspector Kevin Paton said he was pleased Hannon had been banned from owning animals.

"This sends a strong signal to the public that animal cruelty will not be tolerated," he said.

"In all my years as an RSPCA inspector, this is the worst act of deliberate cruelty I have ever seen."

Diane Hannon arrives at court


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