$2,000 for beating cat to death

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 July, 2005, 12:00am

A 62-year-old newspaper vendor beat a cat to death with a broom because he mistook it for a rat, he told Eastern Court yesterday.

Sei Ming-lim pleaded guilty to a charge of animal cruelty. Principal Magistrate Ian Candy told him: 'There was no way you could have mistaken a mouse for a cat. If your eyesight was so poor, you would not have been able to hit it at all.'

The court heard Sei beat the cat until it collapsed outside the Siu Wah building in North Point on May 26. He then put it in a bag from his stall and put it in a rubbish bin.

Two passers-by, Cheung Sing-hung and Fung Yeuk-bing, saw Sei kill the cat and told police, who arrested the newspaper vendor.

In mitigation Sei, who wore glasses in court, said he had mistaken the cat for a rat due to his poor eyesight. 'There are restaurants on that street and so there are a lot of rats and cockroaches. I thought it was a rat.'

But he withdrew his claim of mistaken identity when pressed by Mr Candy to give formal evidence on the matter.

He was fined $2000. Mr Candy said he imposed a relatively small fine because it was a first offence.