A Whitby man has been jailed for 20 weeks after brutally slaying four kittens.
John Stephen Akrill, 47, of Great Fryup Dale strangled the animals then beat them with a hammer having previously threatened to harm them in an attempt to upset his ex-partner.
Akrill pleaded guilty to one allegation under the Animal Welfare Act at Scarborough Magistrates Court.
He admitted, on or about August 16, 2014, causing unnecessary suffering to four kittens by killing them in an inhumane and inappropriate manner.
Akrill admitted that he had broken the black and white kittens’ necks by strangling them, before hitting them over the head with a hammer and dumping them in a bin, where RSPCA inspectors retrieved their bloody bodies from.
RSPCA inspector Karen Colman said: “Blood was found on the paving slabs of the courtyard outside his home, so I assume this was where it [the killing] happened.
“He [Akrill] said he did it because they had cat flu, but they were all in good body condition and no evidence of cat flu or any other illness was found either by our vet or in post mortem.”
Earlier the same day, Akrill had sent text messages to his ex-partner threatening to kill the eight-week-old animals.
“This was a cruel act carried out to upset Mr Akrill’s ex,” Inspector Colman continued.
“The kitten she was the most fond of had received the worst of the blunt force trauma.
“It was very upsetting to see these poor kittens mutilated bodies and to hear him describe what he had done to them.
“This was absolutely not an appropriate or humane way to kill an animal, even if they had been ill.”
In addition to his prison sentence, Akrill was banned from keeping animals for life.