10:02AM, Thursday 08 March 2012
A postman has been jailed for repeatedly smashing the lid of his delivery postbox on a cat before throwing the dying family pet paws-first over a hedge.
Alan Vincent, who denied causing unnecessary animal suffering in Albert Street, Windsor, on March 11 last year, was found guilty at Reading Magistrates’ Court yesterday and sent to prison for 24 weeks.
Magistrates heard Laura Lucardini describe how she saw the attack on Tiddy as she sat in her car in the residential street.
She said she saw the cat’s head and chest sticking out of the postman’s box.
“I saw the postman bashing the lid down and realised he was bashing it down on to the cat who was meowing loudly, screeching,” she said.
She then saw Vincent, who had worked in the job for nine years, toss the 14-year-old cat over the hedge.
Tiddy suffered ‘horrifying injuries’ in delivery round attack
She ran out and confronted the postman before dialling 999.
The 999 recording was played in court, in which Vincent’s voice was clearly heard swearing at both the women.
Mrs Lucardini, who knew Tiddy’s owner, Ami Hartridge, went and found her. Tiddy was then discovered lying behind a hedge inside someone’s garden.
The family pet died later at Alma Road Veterinary Surgery. The court was told it had suffered horrifying internal injuries.
Vincent told the court he had found the cat in his box but did not smash the lid down on it.
“I tried to lift it out, but it clung on to the inside,” he said. The 38-year-old added that he finally shooed it off and it was unhurt.
Magistrates chairman: "We don't believe you."
Chairman of magistrates Ian Bacon, in finding him guilty as charged, said: “We don’t believe your version of events.”
He added: “Tiddy died in a great deal of suffering and pain – a horrible death. “You have offered no remorse whatsoever, none.”
Vincent, who gave his last known address as Feltham, Middlesex, formerly of Windsor, was sacked as a postman after the incident.
A probation report said the case had also caused the end of his relationship with his partner.
Cat owners: "Nothing will bring Tiddy back."
'Justice has been done. But it won't bring Tiddy back'.
That was the reaction of Stephen Hughes, partner of Ami Hartridge who owned the cat brutally killed by sacked postman Alan Vincent.
Stephen attended both days of the trial at which Vincent was convicted of the brutal killing of the helpless cat in Albert Street, Windsor.
The attack happened only yards from her home that Tiddy shared with Stephen, Ami, their daughter Tallulah - who celebrates her third birthday next Friday - and the family's other cats.
He was able to report back to Ami that Vincent had been sentenced to 24 weeks in prison.
Vincent's decision to plead not guilty meant that the trial at Reading happened almost a year after the attack on Tiddy. Although the sadness will never fade, there is happy news.
Ami, 34, is expecting a baby in July. She and Stephen, 50, are getting married in May.
Stephen said: "I also want to state my appreciation of the work the RSPCA did bringing this case. Inspector Alan Ramsey has done a remarkable job."
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