A secondary school cook who killed a kitten by repeatedly tossing it onto the ground has been jailed for three weeks on an animal abuse charge. Magistrate Ernest Lin Kam-hung also fined Chan Wah-chiu HK$5,000 after rejecting his claim that he had just been 'careless' in handling the 10-week-old cat, which was found soaked in blood with severe head injuries. 'You weren't being careless. You beat a cat to death. You took a life,' the magistrate said. The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals welcomed the verdict, the heaviest imposed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance. The ordinance carries a maximum fine of HK$200,000 and three years' imprisonment. SPCA spokeswoman Rebecca Ngan Yee-ling said: 'We think the jail term was appropriate and it is the heaviest of all the convictions under the ordinance. Such a jail term can act as a deterrent and send a clear message to the public.' Chan, who pleaded guilty and has been sacked by the school in Kowloon Tong, was released yesterday after being remanded in custody for three weeks. Outside court, he told reporters he deserved the punishment and was sorry for killing the cat. The court heard that Chan caught the stray cat in the storeroom of the school's snack shop on April 14 and decided to free it outside the school. As he grabbed the kitten by the neck, it bit and scratched him. He claimed he flung the cat away 'as a natural response' and it landed on the ground. He then picked it up again and the cat scratched him again so he flung it away again. Finding it motionless, he put it into a rubbish bin outside the school. But a bank customer service officer said she saw the man holding a 'cat-like animal' and that he had thrown it forcefully to the ground three times. She called the SPCA hotline for help and an officer who went to the scene found a cat carcass, with blood coming from its mouth, inside a blood-stained rubbish bin. A vet who examined the cat said there was massive bleeding in its eyes and its left cheekbone was fractured.