Man, 24, hurled feline in cat-fight

A MAN used a family pet as a weapon in an unprovoked assault on someone he did not know, Scarborough magistrates were told yesterday.

Andrew McCaffery, 24, entered a property in Union Street, off Aberdeen Walk in Scarborough, uninvited.

He then picked up his reluctant host’s cat and hurled it at his victim, causing the feline’s claws to inflict scratches to the neck.

McCaffery, who lives between addresses in Scarborough, then punched the man in his face.

Dawn Birkett, prosecuting, said the victim was at his mother’s home when McCaffery and two others brazenly walked through the front door unannounced on the afternoon of November 18.

As the partner of the victim’s mother, who was also at the property, knew McCaffery vaguely, they did not protest and the trio joined them.

Mrs Birkett added: “For no apparent reason the defendant got angry. He picked up the family cat and threw it at the complainant.

“It hit him in the head and caused scratches. Then he punched him with his right fist into the victim’s right eye.

“This was an unprovoked attack by an unknown man.”

After a short scuffle, McCaffery was bundled out onto the street and the police were called.

As a result of the assault, the victim suffered bruising to his right eye as well as the scratching.

In a statement, he said: “The cat hit my head and scratched my neck.”

McCaffery pleaded guilty to a charge of assault. A claim for compensation will be submitted at a later date.

He also admitted failing to answer bail after he did not turn up at court on December 9.

A warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest and he appeared at court in custody yesterday.

Lesley Wray, of the Probation Service, said that a full pre-sentence report would be required before McCaffery’s punishment is decided.

Caroline Wyatt, mitigating, said that she was not in a position to make a bail application on behalf of her client as he did not have a fixed address.

She claimed that McCaffery had missed his earlier court date because he had been in Scotland and had been unable to travel back to Scarborough.

She added: “He says he did ask a friend to come to court to let them know, but it appears no-one did so.”

The case was adjourned until Friday, so that McCaffery’s accommodation issues can be looked into and a bail application can be made.

He was remanded in custody until that date.

It is likely that McCaffery will be sentenced in January.