“Sorry but I think 16 weeks custody & banned from keeping animals for 10 years  (his are at his daughters which I presume he can see whenever) is far to lenient…He killed a kitten, doesn’t that life deserve more than 16 weeks??…This has made me very angry!! Yet again!!”

A cruel father who killed his son’s ten-week-old kitten after throwing it from his 16ft high apartment balcony because it soiled his sofa was jailed today.

Dollkeith Anthony Jarrett, 46, was allegedly heard yelling that he would kill the animal just hours before its tiny black and white body was found dead on the ground outside his flat.

The animal was found 28 feet away from the building by a neighbour and a post-mortem revealed that it had died from a blunt trauma consisting of falling from a height.

Senseless scene: Dollkeith Anthony Jarrett hurled the cat from a 16ft balcony onto the ground outside the apartment, where it was found dead

Jarrett initially denied harming the animal, or throwing it off the 16ft high balcony of his flat.

But he later changed his plea to admit to the lesser charge of failing to protect the animal from pain, suffering, injury and disease by his abuse which led to its death.

He maintained that he did not intentionally throw the kitten off the balcony. “How strange, look further down, where Mr Lawson says ‘he will say he did not throw the kitten down”.

Unemployed Jarrett, from Audenshaw, Greater Manchester, spoke only to confirm his name and address as he appeared at Tameside Magistrates Court today.

He was sentenced to 16 weeks in custody, revoking an unrelated community order, and was banned from owning animals for ten years.

Sentencing, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe told him: ‘This is a serious matter. A young animal has been abused by yourself and has led to the death of that animal.

‘You are not a proper person to have ownership or control of an animal.’ “So why not ban him for life from keeping animals??

The court heard that Jarrett had bought the kitten in January 2011 for his son’s birthday, but in the early hours of January 20 a female neighbour heard him in his flat shouting and swearing in anger.

Just hours later, the woman discovered the dead body of the unnamed kitten on the path outside his flat, 28ft from the building.

Jailed: Jarrett, 46, will spend 16 weeks in custody after Judge Jonathan Taaffe said he is 'not a proper person to have ownership or control of an animal'

Mark Harper, prosecuting, for the RSPCA, said: ‘In the early hours of 20 January at 4:30am, a witness heard him in the flat above saying, ‘I’ll f****** kill it.’ then, ‘it’s dead, it’s f****** dead. It’s s*** all over my f****** home. It’s f****** dead. I wouldn’t mind but I have got everything for it to s*** in.

‘Then at 7:30-7:40am the witness went outside to put her bin out and saw the body of a black and white kitten near her gate, no more than 10 or 11 weeks old.’

The woman contacted the New Charter Officer at the housing association, who contacted the RSPCA.

The neighbour then looked after the body overnight, and kept it cool, before it was collected by the charity and an investigation was begun, which included a media appeal for witnesses.

A post-mortem exam later confirmed that the animal had died from blunt trauma consisting of falling from a height.

The court heard how Jarrett had frantically searched for a similar-aged black kitten the next day on the internet from a private advertiser in Warrington, Cheshire.

Mr Harper said that, after speaking to Jarrett, RSPCA inspector Vicki McDonald made enquiries with his daughter who confirmed that he had bought another cat as a ‘replacement’.

Jarrett pleaded not guilty to the charges until a commencement of the trial when he pleaded guilty to the lesser of three offences, under Section 9, sub-section 1, of the Animal Welfare Act 2000.

He admitted to failing to take reasonable steps to meet the needs of the kitten to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease by his abuse of the cat, resulting in its death. “Well if he didn’t throw it, how did it die?”

Defending, Karibo Lawson said: ‘He has kept animals for years and had no problems whatsoever; dogs, cats, and also he bought another one straight after this incident.’

Mr Lawson said that his client was ‘not happy that the kitten had done what it did”, but added that he would say that he did not throw the kitten down.’ “Above he says’s he didn’t intentionally throw the kitten down…doesn’t that mean he did, he just didn’t mean to??

He also said that if he had thrown the kitten out of the balcony that it would have been ‘splattered all over the place,’ which was not the case. “From that height I doubt very much it would splatter, as he so eloquently puts it! Cats can jump from great heights, they are well known for their dexterity”

He confirmed that his client had previously been given a conditional discharge for having a ‘dangerous dog out of control,’ but said the dog was not his.

Mr Lawson said: ‘He was helping a neighbour walking his dog but unfortunately it bit somebody.’

Crime scene: RSPCA inspector Vicki McDonald squatting outside Jarrett's apartment, where his son's cat was found 28 feet away from the balcony

The barrister also referred to his client’s alcohol problems and said that Jarrett had had ‘suicidal thoughts’ and had been to detox for an alcohol problem but didn’t complete it because he was in hospital ‘for quite some time.’

Jarrett was banned from keeping animals for ten years, and the replacement cat and his dog have now been taken in by one of Jarrett’s daughters.

He intends to appeal his sentence.

Speaking after today’s hearing, RSPCA Inspector Vicki McDonald said: ‘I am very pleased with the outcome. It was horrific and cruel assault on a defenceless kitten which suffered at the hands of Mr Jarrett.

‘The judge has handed out a fair and justified sentence. I hope this serves as a warning to others that animal cruelty will not be tolerated.

‘I’m extremely grateful for the witnesses that came forward because it must have been very difficult for them.

‘I’m also grateful to Greater Manchester Police for their assistance in this matter.’

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