Thursday 18 January 2018

Revenge horror: Woman microwaved kitten to death, court is told

David Wilcock

A WOMAN microwaved a 10-week-old kitten to death in revenge after its owner reported her abusive partner to the police, a court heard today.

Mother-of-two Gina Robins, 30, put the family pet in the oven after using it to warm food for her 18-month-old son Oliver while at the home of its owner, Sarah Knutton, days after her then friend had reported an incident involving Robins' partner outside the same house.

Torbay Magistrates' Court heard that Ms Knutton, who is hard of hearing, was able to hear a loud popping noise "like a crisp packet being popped", followed by a loud "screeching" noise while in the lounge, separated from the kitchen by a hallway and two doors.

She was beckoned to the kitchen by Robins, who investigated the noise despite claiming not to have heard it and returned saying "oh my God".

Ms Knutton went into the kitchen thinking something had fallen on one of her seven cats or three kittens, shut in the kitchen to keep them away from the baby. She found the black and white kitten dead in the 770 watt appliance on a work surface and was promptly sick in the sink.

The court heard that Robins had sent her friend a text message prior to the incident in February this year saying she had "made it worse" with now ex-boyfriend Matt Taylor after she reported the confrontation outside the house.

After the kitten had died, Robins sent another, calling time on their friendship, saying; "Remember the saying 'what goes around comes around'? It has started already to bite you in the arse. The cat? Karma."

Iain O'Donnell, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: "It is our case that the defendant put the kitten in the microwave and cooked it to death.

"The defendant was in there (the kitchen) for a couple of minutes and came back with some baby food. Having come back, made remarkably little effort to feed the baby the food she had prepared. She was jumpy and agitated."

Robins, of Salisbury Avenue, Torquay, denies a single charge of causing unnecessary suffering to animals, relating to an offence carried out at the house in Higher Cadewell Lane, Torquay, on February 16 this year.

She claims that the microwave, which starts automatically when the door shuts, was accidentally turned on by one of the cats after the kitten got inside.

But Ms Knutton, giving evidence, claimed the kittens were too small to even get on the work surface.

In a statement read in court, vet Colin Cameron, who examined the kitten said there was "no doubt it would have suffered unnecessarily" before dying.

Ms Knutton told the court Robins had appeared "jumpy" when she arrived at the house.

But she said Robins appeared even more agitated after returning to the living room from the kitchen.

After discovering the gruesome scene, both women went back into the living room, she added, saying: "She just sat at the other end of the sofa, looking at me. I didn't say anything, I was in a state of shock."

A couple of minutes later Robins, after searching for Oliver's dummy, left the house. It was the next morning that she sent the "karma" text message, the court heard.

"She left quickly, leaving me to deal with it," Ms Knutton added.

Phil Miles, defending Robins, suggested she and Ms Knutton had exchanged several text messages the day after the incident, rather than just one from his client, which was denied by Ms Knutton.

The court also heard extracts from Robins' police interview, in which she played down the row with her boyfriend and maintained her view that the cats caused what she believed was a tragic accident.

When a police officer suggested that was "far-fetched" she replied: "It's not."

The case continues.

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