Yishun man pleads guilty to hurling cat from 13th storey
Mentally disabled man pleads guilty to hurling cat from 13th storey of Yishun block
He was annoyed with the stray.
So he killed the cat by throwing it from the 13th storey of his Yishun Ring Road Housing Board block.
Yesterday, Lee Wai Leong, 41, who has been diagnosed with moderate intellectual disability, pleaded guilty to one count of animal abuse.
Court papers said he had taken a lift to the ground floor of his block at about 10.30am on Oct 30 last year.
He picked up the adult male mackerel tabby domestic shorthair from a nearby staircase landing and took the lift to the 13th storey.
He threw the cat over the parapet before taking the lift down to see if it had survived the fall.
An unknown caller alerted the police to the dead cat, which was found to have suffered significant organ tissue bleeding and multi-organ failure.
Lee was arrested and charged with one count of causing unnecessary suffering to the cat under the Animals and Birds Act on Dec 29 last year.
Police and residents at the scene where the cat was found dead.
A report from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) said he had moderate intellectual disability even though he was of sound mind at the time of the offence.
He told the IMH psychiatrist he killed the cat as it was noisy and had entered his home once before.
Yesterday, defence counsel Josephus Tan, who was assigned by the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, said in mitigation that Lee was a simple-minded person who had dropped out of school after Primary 4.
He said his client has the estimated IQ of a 10-year-old or less, is unable to work and spends his day helping out with household chores and looking after his 14 pet fish.
He added that his client, who is facing only one charge, was not responsible for the other cat deaths in Yishun. (See other report.)
Mr Tan said that Lee's parents, elder brother, sister-in-law and niece have also taken measures to ensure that he does not abuse more cats.
He has to sleep with his parents in their bedroom and they lock the door using a newly-fitted bolt lock (above).
Only Lee's mother has the key to it, to prevent him from wandering out.
Mr Tan urged the court to consider probation and to enable his family to get him professional help.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao said Lee could be considered for counselling and extended supervision, given he is a simple-minded person.
DPP Lee said the circumstances were unique and exceptional and did not object to the calling of a probation suitability report.
District Judge Mathew Joseph noted this was Lee's first offence and he did not act with any perverse cruelty.
He is expected to be back in court on June 7.
The maximum punishment for this offence is a $15,000 fine and 18 months' jail.
THE NEW PAPER, DEC 30
TWO DEATHS LINKED TO CRUELTY
There have been at least 39 reported cat deaths in Yishun since September last year, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) told The New Paper yesterday.
The latest in this string of feline deaths was a cat that was found dead in Yishun Pond, near Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, on April 27, reported The Straits Times.
The AVA told TNP that investigations are ongoing.
Two of the cases have been linked to cruelty, with 13 caused by factors such as road accidents, falls and natural causes.
Three are still being investigated, while 21 cases remain open due to insufficient leads, said the AVA.
Two people have been arrested so far, including Lee Wai Leong, 41, who pleaded guilty to throwing a cat from the 13th storey of his Yishun Ring Road block yesterday.
The other is a 51-year-old man, who was arrested in January for his suspected involvement in the death of a cat that belonged to his household.
His cat was found dead next to Block 116, Yishun Ring Road on Jan 22.
Members of the public can report cases of animal cruelty or share information with the AVA via its 24-hour hotline at 1800-476-1600.