Intellectually disabled man gets probation for throwing cat from Yishun block

Lee Wai Leong, 41, who suffers from moderate intellectual disability, was sentenced to 18 months' probation on Tuesday (June 7).
Lee Wai Leong, 41, who suffers from moderate intellectual disability, was sentenced to 18 months' probation on Tuesday (June 7). ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A 41-year-old unemployed man, who threw a cat over the 13th floor parapet of his block in Yishun Ring Road and caused its death on Oct 30 last year, was sentenced to 18 months' probation on Tuesday (June 7).

Lee Wai Leong, who suffers from moderate intellectual disability, had admitted to animal abuse. The cat died from multiple traumatic injuries, including fractures and organ failure.

A community court heard that he had committed the offence because the cat - which he had picked up from the ground floor - was "noisy'' and had entered his home once before.

Mr Josephus Tan, assigned by the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (Clas), had said in mitigation that Lee was a simple-minded person who had dropped out of school after Primary 4.

 

He said his client has the estimated IQ of a 10-year-old or less, is unable to work and spends his day helping out with household chores and looking after his 14 pet fish.

He had also said that Lee's parents, elder brother, sister-in-law and niece have also taken measures to ensure that he does not abuse cats any more.

District Judge Mathew Joseph told Lee that animal violence is not to be condoned.

"It is cruel and it is a cowardly act against a defenceless creature. I hope you have learnt from this,'' he said.

The judge said a single act of violence against an animal "is one case too many''.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore has received 39 reports of cat deaths in Yishun since September last year.

Under the probation order, Lee will attend programmes specified by the probation officer and his parents will be bonded to ensure his good behaviour.

Lee could have been jailed for up to 18 months and fined up to $15,000 under the Animals and Birds Act.