Kitten killer’s prison term hailed by animal charity

Andrew Ronaldson killed Keeko after a Scottish Cup final day row
Andrew Ronaldson killed Keeko after a Scottish Cup final day row
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ANIMAL welfare workers have welcomed the jail term handed down to a Hearts fan who killed a kitten during a row after the Scottish Cup final.

Andrew Ronaldson, 22, was jailed for six months yesterday, with a sheriff telling him he had “no regard for the welfare of any other living creature”.

The court heard how he had been out drinking after going to the game at Hampden on May 19 and went round to friend Laura McFarlane’s home in Wester Hailes.

The 22-year-old became embroiled in an argument with Ms McFarlane and grabbed her kitten, named Keeko, raised it above his head and hurled it to the floor, causing fatal injuries.

Scottish SPCA deputy chief superintendent Tom Gatherer said after the sentencing yesterday: “It is very sad that this kitten died as a result of Ronaldson’s cruel and irresponsible actions.

“We are pleased he has received a jail sentence as this sends out a strong message that abusing an animal is an offence and will not be 
tolerated.”

At an earlier appearance, Ronaldson, of Broomhouse Avenue, had pleaded guilty to causing the kitten’s death.

The court heard that the animal was cowering in the corner of the room and hiding under furniture before the attack.

After he grabbed the kitten and threw it to the floor, the animal was violently sick.

Ms McFarlane ran over to Keeko, picked it up and ran upstairs to her bedroom. She saw blood coming out of the kitten’s mouth before it died.

Ms McFarlane previously told the Evening News how she got the kitten from a friend as a pet for her sons.

But despite being devastated by the loss of the pet, she said she did not want to see him jailed.

Defence solicitor Angus McLennan had previously told the court that Ronaldson said the kitten had jumped up on to him and he had “brushed it away”. He insisted the fact that the cat died was an accident.

He added that his client was extremely regretful and had no general dislike of animals.

He suggested that a Restriction of Liberty Order could be imposed and that his client could be ordered to perform unpaid work in the community and pay Ms McFarlane compensation.

However, Sheriff O’Grady told Ronaldson his record and the circumstances of the offence showed “you have no regard for the welfare of any other living creature, whether human or animal”.

Ronaldson was sentenced to six months for causing the death of the kitten, reduced to two because of his early guilty plea and for having spent two months on remand. He was also sentenced to three months for a separate assault and a month for failing to attend a hearing.

dawn.morrison@edinburghnews.com