A woman who savagely stabbed her ‘therapy cat’ has been sentenced to two years in jail and banned for life from owning an animal.
While initially denying that she even had a cat, Celina Shead eventually confessed to police that she had stabbed 11-year-old moggy Ginger 20 times before throwing the animal’s lifeless body out of a second-floor window.
Another cat was retrieved from Shead’s apartment at the time of her arrest.
In court, officers from New South Wales police said Shead was “sinister, smirking… almost laughing" while telling them what she had done.
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Police prosecutor Adrian Walsh told Manly Local Court that Shead had shown no remorse and explained her crime to a psychologist by saying: “You know when something is so cute you want to squish the life out of it?”
He described her actions as “an abhorrent act of cruelty."
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Police were called after neighbours heard Shead yelling at the cat and what sounded like an animal in distress on the morning of October 23.
Shead had acquired Ginger, as well as another cat, just a few days before the offence, the court heard.
Investigators found a knife with blood and cat fur stuck to it in the flat’s kitchen, as well as splashes of blood on a rug and a set of cat adoption papers.
Ginger’s body was found in a flower-bed below the flat’s window, together with an amount of cat litter.
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“The entire time police were speaking to her she had a smirk on her face,” police notes stated.
Shead's father told police that Shead had adopted Ginger as a therapy cat from the RSPCA the previous week.
“The cats didn’t seem to bond with his daughter and this seemed to upset her,” police noted.
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Shead was examined by court-appointed psychologists and found to have a borderline personality disorder but her chances of rehabilitation were described as “fair.”
Magistrate Mark Richardson described Shead’s treatment of the cat as “savage in its cruelty”before sentencing her to two years in jail, with a non-parole period of 15 months.
“On the face of it, it's difficult to imagine a more cruel act than this,” he added.
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With time already served she'll be eligible for release in January 2021.
Shead was also sentenced to three months prison after pleading guilty to stealing a dog from outside a shopping centre in the Sydney suburb of Dee Why in September 2019.
She had dyed the white Pomeranian, named Bella, bright orange before police tracked her down.
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