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Robert Payne: Bradford Councillor Who Killed Four Kittens Jailed

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The four kittens had broken limbs and two had been decapitated (file picture)
The four kittens had broken limbs and two had been decapitated (file picture)

A former councillor who killed four kittens in "appalling scenes" of "unimaginable cruelty" has been jailed.

Robert Payne, a former councillor for the Keighley West ward of Bradford Council, swung the four-month-old cats round his house, broke their skulls and most of their limbs, and decapitated two of them.

Police and RSPCA officers called to his home in Ethel Street, Keighley, West Yorkshire, found three kittens in a freezer, blood spread around the house and fragments of the animals in the living room.

Payne, 36, who was drunk when police arrived, told officers he "must have got angry about something, picked up one of the cats by its stomach and used it as a battering ram, smashed its head against something".

Stephen Wood, prosecuting, told Bradford Crown Court that a neighbour called police on November 15 this year when she heard banging and the sound of a cat screaming.

Mr Wood said: "The police went inside and they were met with what the prosecution submit was an appalling scene, with fragments of dismembered parts of animals over the house, together with a substantial quantity of blood."

The barrister said the pattern of blood on the walls suggested a "profusely" bleeding cat had been swung around the room.

He said officers also found fragments of bone, an eyeball and part of a jaw with the tongue still attached on the living room floor.

Three of the kittens were found in a freezer and the fourth was found decapitated upstairs. Its head was never found.

The skulls of the other cats had all been crushed and nearly every limb had been fractured.

Mr Wood said: "Prior to their deaths, these kittens had been subjected to unimaginable cruelty."

Payne, who bought the kittens over the internet, told police he was not "100%" sure what had happened but said it was "more than likely" he had killed them.

He was jailed for five months for causing unnecessary suffering to the kittens and was handed a month to be served consecutively for breaching a previous suspended sentence for fraud.

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