KUALA LUMPUR • The Selayang Sessions Court in Selangor yesterday sentenced a taxi driver to two years in jail for causing the death of a pregnant cat by putting it in a dryer at a launderette.
Judge Rasyihah Ghazali meted out the sentence after A. Mohanraj, 42, changed his plea to guilty in court. The judge ordered the jail sentence to start from the date of Mohanraj's arrest last Sept 14.
Mohanraj and two others - technician S.S. Satthiya, 26, and contract worker, K. Ganesh, 41 - had claimed trial last September to committing the offence at a launderette in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 11.
The charge carries a maximum fine of RM100,000 (S$33,000) or a jail term of up to three years, or both, upon conviction.
It was reported that Satthiya had received a discharge not amounting to an acquittal, while Ganesh maintained his not guilty plea.
In his testimony, Selangor Veterinary Service Department Prosecuting Officer Roslan Mohd Isa asked the court to mete out a harsh sentence, as what the accused had done was cruel.
"This case is of public interest as it involves torturing a defenceless animal. This attitude is not accepted by society," he said.
Mohanraj, who was unrepresented, asked for a lighter sentence as he was repentant and had a family to feed.
"I feel regret. I apologise to all Malaysians and I promise not to do this again... When I was detained, I was jeered and insulted by other inmates for the crime," he told the court.
According to the facts of the case, a launderette manager received a call from a customer on Sept 11, informing him that there was a cat carcass in a dryer.
The manager then instructed his employee to examine the dryer, and the carcass was discovered.
Closed-circuit television footage showed two men, one of whom took the cat out from under a table in the launderette and threw it into the dryer. Both the accused men inserted tokens into the dryer before exiting the launderette.
The manager lodged a police report on Sept 14 and the arrests were made on the same day.
Malaysians expressed their outrage after CCTV footage went viral on social media.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK