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27 Sept 2022

Derry cat killer jailed for 'hideous and horrendous' offence

Derry cat killer jailed for 'hideous and horrendous' offence

Coyle was jailed at Derry Magistrates Court.

A Derry man who killed his cat with a cable tie has been jailed at the Magistrate's Court and banned from owning animals for five years.

Andrew Coyle (25), of Deramore Drive in Strathfoyle, was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a cat on February 5 this year.

He also admitted a charge of abuse of the communication network on the same date.

The defendant's mother told police he had contacted her by video call at 8.30pm on the date in question and told her he had killed the cat.

He was told he tried to show her what he had done but she looked away.

She told police he appeared to be 'high'  on something and when he first called he had simply stared at her for so long she thought the screen had frozen.

The court heard when police attended, Coyle answered the door and was behaving 'erratically,'  stating had killed the cat and placed it in a bin.

Police found the body of the cat in the bin.

He said the cat was 'staring up at him' and he had put a cable tie around its neck until it stopped moving.

When asked by police if he had killed the cat, the defendant gave different answers but refused to look at photos.

Defence counsel Sean Doherty said the case involved 'extremely serious and alarming' behaviour.

He said his client clearly had issues and felt he had to act 'beyond the social norms'  to attract attention.
The barrister said his client had 'a deep sense of shame and remorse.'

District Judge Oonagh Mullen said this offence was 'at the highest possible end of the scale'  for such an offence.
She described it as 'a hideous and horrendous offence.'

She imposed a sentence of 10 months in prison, a disqualification order relating to animals for five years and a restraining order in relation to his mother for two years.

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