Mentally ill man found guilty of killing cat by throwing it down 14 floors

SINGAPORE - A mentally ill man stuffed his sister-in-law's cat into a haversack and threw it down 14 floors, killing the animal.

For his actions in 2017, Mohd Noor Hassan, 42, was found guilty of animal cruelty by District Judge May Mesenas on Wednesday (Jan 9).

He will be back in court for sentencing on Feb 11.

The unemployed man, who lives on the sixth floor of Block 866 Jurong West Street 81, had grabbed the cat, put it in his haversack and taken a lift to the 14th floor where he threw the haversack to the ground floor, the court heard.

The cat, a tri-coloured feline named Jun, belonged to his sister-in-law Safiah Mohamed Kamal, 47, who lives in the same flat as him.

Mr Yap Teck Chuan, prosecuting officer for the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), told the court that on Aug 18, 2017, at about 7.20pm, a witness informed the police about the case of a cat being thrown "from a high floor" in Noor's block.

Police officers found a haversack, with the cat inside, at the foot of the block near the rubbish chute. They then conducted a floor-by-floor patrol and arrested Noor in his unit.

The case was later referred to the AVA for further investigations into the offence of animal cruelty.

The probe revealed that Noor had grabbed the cat by the neck and stuffed it inside his haversack.

After throwing the haversack from the 14th storey, Noor took the lift to the ground level to retrieve it. However, a passer-by stopped him from doing so, and told him that he had informed the police.

Knowing that the police would soon arrive, Noor went home.

There were no visible injuries on the cat's body. A post-mortem at the AVA Laboratory revealed that it had died from "fatal external traumatic incident resulting in organ contusion and laceration, involving blunt-force trauma". This means that the fall from height had killed it.

The AVA prosecutor did not give details on Noor's mental illness. However, the court heard that he is currently seeking treatment at the Institute of Mental Health and Anglican Care Centre in Simei, a rehabilitation centre. Judge Mesenas told him to continue doing so during sentencing.

For breaching the Animals and Birds Act, Noor can be fined up to $15,000 and jailed for up to 1½ years.