Hamster killer spared prison term
A man who killed his ex-girlfriend's hamster by throwing it out of a window during a row has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Ryan Goodwin, 23, hurled the pet, Kaya, in its cage from the first-floor window of his council flat during a furious argument with Sarah Symons during their break-up.
Goodwin, who has a £70 per week cannabis habit and receives £800 a month in benefits, was sentenced at Plymouth Magistrates' Court after admitting animal cruelty and being found guilty at an earlier trial of using threatening behaviour during the row in January.
District Judge Paul Farmer also banned him from keeping animals for seven years, telling him: "If you had been sent to prison today you could have no complaint. What you did was disgraceful."
Miss Symons was talking to police on her mobile phone when the incident occurred, and her horror was captured by the police 999 recording.
Goodwin, of Ipswich Close, Plymouth, arrived at court with Miss Symons. Judge Farmer was told they had since reconciled and were again living together.
Speaking outside the court after the hearing, Mr Goodwin apologised for his actions during the row at their former home in Marlborough Street, Plymouth, Devon, at around 3.30am on January 3.
"I am remorseful for my actions, it was in the heat of the moment," he said. "We are all in relationships and we do crazy things for love. And I do love her very much. It was a moment of madness."
He said the couple had not argued since moving back in together and being banned from keeping animals would mean he and his girlfriend would have to get rid of their dog, a Staffordshire/pitbull-crossbreed called Tyson.
Sentencing Goodwin to an eight-week sentence suspended for 12 months, with £400 court costs, Judge Farmer told him to sort his relationship out with Miss Symons, after hearing that police had been called out eight times to deal with their noisy arguments.