Evil pensioner William Seed today walked free from court after admitting snatching his neighbour’s cats and bludgeoning them to death with a hammer.
A court was told Seed submerged the animals in a dustbin filled with water to ensure they were dead.
The retired farm worker, who admitted to police he had killed “about 10” cats, was described in Blackburn Magistrates Court as an animal lover.
Seed, of Higher Road, Longridge, pleaded guilty to three charges of causing criminal damage to cats and one of attempting to steal a cat.
He was made subject to a community rehabilitation order for six months and ordered to pay 750 compensation and 60 costs. Neil White, prosecuting, described the charges as “unusual”.
He said the first cat, Rosie, had been rescued from a trap by its owner Ian Marwood. He said: “That is the subject of the attempted theft but it is clear Rosie would have met the same fate as the other cats had Mr Marwood not removed her from the trap.”
He said when Rosie failed to come home Mr Marwood went looking for her and heard calls coming from the allotment owned by Seed. The cat was in a spring trap with a decoy bird. Mr White said: “MrMarwood was able to release Rosie and take her home.”
He said Shirley Shorrock described a long-standing dispute with Seed who had accused her of allowing her cat into his gardene. On May 15, she let her cats out but Claudia failed to return.
On August 13, another neighbour, Samantha Griffiths, had let her three cats, George, Mildred and Knuckles out.
The following morning only Mildred and Knuckles returned.
That night the two remaining cats went out and Mildred disappeared. Mrs Griffiths contacted the police and they found a Larsen trap and a spring trap in Seed’s allotment. Seed admitted using the trap to catch cats. He told police in interview that he always used the same method. After trapping a cat he would hit it over the head with a large hammer.
Mr White said Seed claimed he was killing the cats because they were responsible for killing his young geese.
He said: “When it was established that he had not kept geese this year, he went on to say he was killing cats because they were killing wild birds that were nesting in his garden.”
Daniel King, defending, said the case represented a clash between town and country values. He said: “He now realises that what he did was wrong and accepts that he has caused considerable distress to the owners.
“The case has also caused him considerable distress. “
Since the first hearing was widely reported he has received hate mail, the windows of his house have been repeatedly smashed and filthy things have been done outside his home.”
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Seed said he felt the compensation was “a bit harsh for a chap of 70”.
He said: “They don’t put a value of 250 on their cats when they throw them out at night and leave them to wander around doing whatever they want.”
Speaking after today’s hearing, Heather Holmes, of the RSPCA, said: “It’s very rare that we get prison sentences imposed.
“If we were to get a prison sentence that is an exceptional case. ” The extent of this fine is very large compared with normal fines that magistrates enforce for RSPCA prosecutions.
“The extent of the fine does show that the magistrate obviously took this very seriously.
“However, no punishment is going to bring back these cats.
“Hopefully this prosecution will act as a warning to people in the future that it is unacceptable to cause this kind of suffering to both animals and their owners and the courts will take it very seriously if they do.”