Man charged in case of cat thrown from 13th floor

A resident feeding a cat in Yishun.
A resident feeding a cat in Yishun. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

A 40-year-old man who allegedly threw a cat to its death from the 13th floor of an HDB block in Yishun was yesterday charged with one count of animal cruelty.

Lee Wai Leong, who was brought to court from remand, appeared calm and did not enter a plea.

He allegedly threw an adult male Mackerel Tabby domestic short- haired cat over the parapet of the 13th floor of Block 115B, Yishun Ring Road at about 10.30am on Oct 30.

Lee is the first person to be hauled to court under the new Animals and Birds Act, which was amended last year to toughen penalties against those convicted of animal cruelty.

District Judge Janet Wang granted the prosecution's request to remand Lee for two weeks for psychiatric assessment at the Institute of Mental Health.

His case will be mentioned in court again on Jan 12.

Over the past three months, 19 cats - mostly strays - have been found dead or seriously injured in Yishun. Only two survived.

In the latest incident, the carcass of a grey-white cat was found floating in a Yishun pond next to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital last Saturday.

Other cats had earlier been found with severe trauma to the head and back, injuries to the intestinal organs, gouged eyes and chopped-off limbs. One was strangled.

Two weeks ago, Mr Louis Ng, an MP for Nee Soon GRC, announced that a grassroots fast response team had been set up to gather evidence and conduct patrols.

Additional high-resolution cameras were also installed in the area.

In a joint statement on Monday, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and the police said that following reports on the cases, extensive ground inquiries and investigations were conducted.

The police established the identity of a suspect, and Lee was arrested on Sunday in Yishun Ring Road.

The AVA said it will investigate all public feedback on animal cruelty and take enforcement action against such offenders.

Members of the public with any information on animal cruelty can contact the AVA on 1800- 476-1600.

The maximum penalty for doing an act which causes unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal is 18 months' jail and a $15,000 fine for a first conviction. The maximum penalty for subsequent convictions is three years' jail and a $30,000 fine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2015, with the headline 'Man charged in case of cat thrown from 13th floor'. Print Edition | Subscribe