Cleo the cat: Walsall 'yob' jailed for fatal dog attack

image copyrightWest Midlands Police
image captionAmos Price was arrested after police launched a public appeal to trace him

A man caught on CCTV encouraging his dog to maul a neighbour's cat to death has been jailed for 18 weeks.

Footage of Amos Price setting his dog on eight-year-old Cleo on 23 October was shared widely online after it was released in a bid to identify him.

The 30-year-old, from Pelsall, West Midlands, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Price, described by police as "a yob", was also banned from keeping animals for life at Walsall Magistrates' Court.

The crime was discovered when Cleo's owner, Gary Truefitt, checked his home's CCTV footage after he became suspicious that his pet had not come back inside.

It showed Price opening the garden gate and releasing his dog, which savaged Cleo outside her home in Woodlands Crescent, Pelsall.

In a statement, Mr Truefitt said: "I feel as if there is a big part of my life missing.

"I don't want to go home because I know Cleo is not there."

image copyrightRSPCA
image captionPrice was caught on CCTV as he encouraged his dog to attack Cleo

He previously described Cleo as "a daft cat in lots of ways" but a companion who "will be very much missed".

West Midlands Police said the attack was "completely mindless, senseless and beyond any justification".

"As a police force and community we have all been appalled by the sickening actions of Price."

The unemployed father of two, who has recent convictions for criminal damage and assault, claimed he was drunk at the time.

His defence said he was "extremely ashamed and sorry" and that his family had received death threats after the footage was shared on social media.

Magistrates said Price's guilty plea meant the maximum sentence they could impose was 18 weeks, but added: "We would if we were actually permitted to do so have imposed a far greater custodial sentence."

image copyrightRSPCA
image captionPrice claimed to be drunk when he set his dog on Cleo

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