Man freed cats to be hunted by dogs
A man who released cats from a sanctuary so his dogs could hunt them down in a forest has been jailed for 30 months today.
Frank Lyn Lewis, 18, stole 10 cats, only four of which survived.
Three were found dead near the Ty Nant sanctuary in Cymmer, South Wales, and the others are assumed to have died elsewhere in the forest.
Swansea Crown Court heard that Lewis carried out the burglary just days after he had been sentenced for stabbing a sheep. Lewis tied that animal to a tree, cut off its head and posted the photographs on his Facebook page.
Lewis and a 15 year old youth broke into the sanctuary on July 30 and took a cage containing 10 cats.
After his arrest Lewis admitted the whole idea was to let them loose in the forest so they could be chased by his two Lurchers, which had been trained to hunt.
Lewis had cut one of the cats with a knife to make it easier to be caught.
Georgina Buckley, prosecuting, said the sanctuary's founder and owner, Teresa Ahmed, discovered the break-in within minutes and raised the alarm.
Volunteers at the sanctuary found the youths in a nearby lane and took them back to the unit.
Lewis, who lived close by, admitted burglary and criminal damage.
His barrister, Dan Heard, said Lewis accepted that he knew full well that his dogs would catch the cats and kill them.
He had an interest, added Mr Heard, in hunting and the outdoors.
Judge Paul Thomas told Lewis the cruelty bordered on sadism.
Certain offences, he said, had such a profound effect on the public that only a custodial sentence could be justified.
Judge Thomas said he found a psychiatric report on Lewis to be chilling.
He said after Lewis was released from prison he should be closely monitored by multi agencies because he had real concern about what he might do in the future.
"This was a particularly awful crime against defenceless cats. The outpouring of emotion from the local community - and on social media from across the world - highlights the impact of Frank Lewis' heinous actions.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their support during this investigation which resulted in the two males involved being brought before the courts.
"Thanks to a thorough investigation, and along with today's outcome, it sends out a clear message that South Wales Police takes all crimes seriously and will ensure that offenders will be brought to justice."