Outrage as cat killer dodges jail

William the 10-week-old kitten touched the hearts of Sydney after he was set alight, tortured and then later died from his horrific injuries. Animal lovers thought justice was served when one of the culprits, Matthew Staines, of Tregear, was sent to jail for 16 months. But a whirlwind appeal has allowed the 18-year-old to walk free and he now only faces 100 hours of community service for his part in William's death.

The RSPCA is furious over the courts' leniency towards people who torture animals – especially when they could face a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and/or a $22,000 fine. "William suffered horrific injuries and died a horrible death and all William's death is considered to be worth is 100 hours of community service," RSPCA chief inspector Don Robinson told The Daily Telegraph yesterday. "To say it's disappointing is an understatement. The manner in which William was killed was callous and cruel. He suffered a great deal."

William, a cute grey-and-white kitten, received second degree burns to 30 per cent of his body after petrol was poured over his small body and then set alight at Mt Druitt in January. William – named after William "Braveheart" Wallace – died in February after an operation at the Sydney University Vet Hospital to reconstruct his skin. He survived the surgery with a 50-50 chance of pulling through, but later died in his sleep.

Staines faced Penrith Local Court last month where he was found guilty of aggravated cruelty to the kitten and was sent to jail for a non-parole period of eight months by Magistrate Ian McRae. It is alleged a 15-year-old was with him during the attack. The decision was appealed, which resulted in Staines facing Penrith District Court last Friday. He was freed and ordered instead to complete 100 hours of community service.

According to facts tendered to the court, Staines was with the boy who set alight the kitten and then fled, leaving William severely injured. William hid under a house for two days before being rescued and taken by the RSPCA for treatment. It is not known when Staines will carry ot his penalty or what community service he will undergo.

The Daily Telegraph

MathewK -

If you assume an 8 hour day, that's 12 and a half days, 16 months in jail to 12.5 days of community service, wow the first Magistrate must have been hearing the wrong case, maybe he thought the fellow has been stealing organs or hijacking people or something.

The maximum sentence is 2 years imprisonment, some members of the public have asked, what do you need to do to receive this sentence? I suppose if we the public ask why such a dramatic change in the sentence, we'd just be told we are but mere uneducated fools who have not heard all the evidence, even if we are presented with all the evidence we would be too stupid to comprehend all of it, there are others who are more educated than us to make such decisions in the high legal towers and we best leave these complicated matters to them.

The question remains, what do you need to do to get the maximum sentence, maybe if 2400 cats are killed by the one person then they will get the full sentence, however you will need to prove that it was all the action of the one person, if there was another person involved then offcourse that would have to be divided equally depending on who was the more dominant of the perpetrators and how much affection they received in their lives.

I need to find a wall to walk into..

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