Man's appeal after hunting hounds kill pet cat rejected

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MiniImage source, Carly Jose
Image caption,
Mini was mauled outside her home in west Cornwall by a pack of hunting hounds in March 2021

A hunt master who was found guilty of allowing a pack of hounds to kill a pet cat in Cornwall has had an appeal against his conviction refused.

The cat called Mini was killed outside its home by hunting hounds from the Western Hunt being exercised in Madron, near Penzance, in March 2021.

John Sampson, 55, was convicted in December of being in charge of dogs that were dangerously out of control.

His appeal against his sentence was also rejected at Truro Crown Court.

At his trial, the court heard how that cat's injuries included a broken back and broken ribs.

The court also heard that video showing a member of the hunt throwing the dead cat's body over a fence beside the house emerged online in the following days.

Image source, Charlie Knight
Image caption,
The dead cat was thrown over a fence after it was mauled

After he was found guilty, Sampson, from St Buryan, was fined £480 and ordered to pay £350 compensation to Ms Jose, £775 court costs and a £48 victim surcharge.

At the appeal hearing, Judge Simon Carr rejected Sampson's application, saying it was a "violent death of a much-loved cat".

Following the death, the cat's owner set up a petition calling for "Mini's law" to make it illegal for hunts to go near residential or public areas.

More than 101,000 people signed it, meaning the matter will be debated in Parliament.

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