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Judge throws out Roman cat-swinging case

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, June 1, 2012 15:49 EDT
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File photo shows a man with a cat on a lead in Rome. A man who was accused of swinging a cat by its tail in the street saw the case against him thrown out of court on Friday because of a lack of evidence. (AFP Photo/Filippo Monteforte)
 
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A man who was accused of swinging a cat by its tail in the street saw the case against him thrown out of court on Friday because of a lack of evidence.

Riain Richards from Ramsgate in Kent was accused of having swung two-year-old Mowgli around roughly 17 times in 30 seconds as friends cheered him on.

But after hearing the case against 20-year-old, magistrates at a court in Dover decided there was insufficient evidence that he was the person responsible.

The RSPCA released footage of last year’s incident, in which a man dances down a street swinging the cat by its tail for over 30 seconds, and appealed for help in finding the offender.

The video, captured by a local pub’s CCTV camera on October 29, shows two-year-old Mowgli the cat colliding with the arm of a passer-by as he is swung through the air.

But magistrate Gillian Monk said: “The CCTV and photographic evidence presented is of such poor quality that it is hard to identify any distinguishing features.

“No forensic evidence was found at Mr Richards’ home or on his computer.

“Nothing we have seen or heard has securely placed his hands on that cat.”

Richards denied causing unnecessary suffering to the cat on October 29 last year.

The cat’s owner Michelle Buchanan said afterwards that she was upset by the decision.

“If I try to pick him (the cat) up he cries,” she said. “It’s been eight months and he’s still exactly the same. Justice has not been done at all.”

[File photo shows a man with a cat on a lead in Rome. AFP Photo/Filippo Monteforte]

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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