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  1. #1
    FishTail Guest

    PC 'pursued' over killing of cat

    The RSPCA has been accused of harassing a police officer after he killed an injured cat with a spade.

    A prosecution estimated to have cost a total of 50,000 lasted two years before failing in the High Court.

    The Police Federation says Pc Jonathon Bell had been "to hell and back" but the RSPCA says the case was in the public interest.

    The charity pursues around 1,000 cases a year and that is likely to increase under the new Animal Welfare Bill. In April 2004, Pc Bell was called out to an estate in Stoke-on-Trent following reports of youths throwing stones at passing cars.

    While there local residents called his attention to a cat which had been run over.

    The 36-year-old officer sought advice from his control room and colleagues including a police handler.

    He was told that by law there was no statutory duty for the police to call out a vet and that the RSPCA could not be contacted at that time of night.

    He borrowed a spade and with three to four blows killed the cat.

    His actions on that night unleashed what his supporters say has been a legal and personal nightmare for the officer who eventually was forced to take a month off because of stress.

    The RSPCA says it took legal action following complaints from witnesses to the killing.

    Difficult decision

    The officer was acquitted at a two-day court hearing last September.

    District Judge Graham Richards said Pc Bell had been forced to make a decision in difficult circumstances.

    "You did what you honestly thought best," said Judge Richards, "You walk out of here without a stain on your character."

    But the animal charity made an appeal to the High Court which recently threw out the case. The final judgement came two years after the cat was killed.

    "He thought he was doing his duty as a policeman in a difficult situation and he had to make a judgement call and he's been made to pay for it," Mark Judson, chairman of the Staffordshire Police Federation told Radio 5 Live.

    He said Pc Bell was too traumatised by the long-running case to comment but that he felt "harassed" by the RSPCA, especially after the charity took the case to the High Court.

    "They wouldn't let it go even when the decision had gone against them."

    Half squashed

    An independent expert witness called to give evidence in the trial said the officer had been in a no-win situation.

    "The cat had been squashed to within an inch thick at its lower half," said veterinary surgeon Colin Vogel.

    "He did the kindest thing which was to put it out of its misery whereas if he'd just walked away leaving it injured he could have just as easily faced a charge of animal cruelty."

    The estimated 50,000 total cost of the case, which includes 12,000 spent by the RSPCA on its own legal costs, will lead to accusations that it has wasted large amounts of voluntary donations and public money.

    The RSPCA has defended its role in the trial of Pc Bell as well as the 1,000 prosecutions it brings every year.

    "In the end, the High Court refused the society's application for a judicial review. However, the RSPCA is pleased that Staffordshire Constabulary have since reviewed their procedures with regard to injured animals."

    BBC News

    God! I could go into a long rant about the perfidies of the RSPCA but I'll confine myself to this: why is a charity with no law enforcement authority whatsoever taking it upon itself to prosecute people, especially police officers?

    We have to put all prosecutions through an independent prosecutor to make sure it's worth pursuing (which doesn't always work but there you go). But this charity just prosecutes people left right and centre!

    It's a disgrace!

  2. #2
    Bearcat06 Guest
    If the LEO starts a defense fund....let me know....

    I hate f cats.......

  3. #3
    Falcata is offline UK police officer
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    I have between none and little respect for the RSPCA at the best of times...

    You can never get through to their switchboard. They aren't interested in coming out to see animals. When they do, there's very few cases that they'll take on...

    The only time they show the remotest bit of interest is when there is the possibility of a BBC film crew being present....
    'The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
    but because of those who look on and do nothing.'

  4. #4
    Cris1102 Guest


    Quote Originally Posted by Bearcat06
    If the LEO starts a defense fund....let me know....

    I hate cats.......
    Well then....Stop F ing em.

  5. #5
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Why didn't he just shoot the cat in the head? That's more humane than a spade.

    Oh yeah... I forgot, this is the UK - he'd have to call the firearms car, and that's 20 minutes away

    (='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
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  6. #6
    Magnum440 is offline Older Than Dirt
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    Geez, talk about bringing back bad memories. I had a call one time, daylight hours, about a dog being struck by a car. When I arrived this poor thing was in the middle of the street, yelping his lungs out. His back had been broken, and he could not lift himself on his hind legs. What to do? If I fire my weapon, that called for a list of forms to fill out, and some busy body complaining. Trying to be as quiet as I could, I did not ask for a spade, but the old night stick proved its use again. One well placed blow to the head, and it put the old pup out of its misery. Still had a phone call to go the the Chief's office. But, once I explained what happened, he understood, and nothing more came of it. Good grief, look at the difference in 40 years.
    Facta non verba
    "The good Lord set definite limits on man's wisdom, but set no limits on his stupidity and that's not fair!" Konrad Adenauer,

  7. #7
    Bearcat06 Guest
    Last edited by Bearcat06; 04-11-06 at 08:56 PM.

  8. #8
    Standard Dave's Avatar
    Standard Dave is offline Constable
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    I heard a story about another PC from Leicestershire who hit a badger in a marked patrol car and then proceed to reverse over it, it took four passes to kill the creature he was certainly subject to a file.

  9. #9
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    The saddest thing I ever saw was a kitten that had been run over in the middle of the Dallas North Tollway. He was just laying there between lanes of the freeway, looking around with cars whizzing over and around him at 80MPH. Poor kitten probably didn't last very long after that.

    (='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
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  10. #10
    pmfc is offline ^
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    I have had the misfortune of seeing cats and dogs run over too. Very sad and very disturbing. Especially the time when I was a passenger in a car that hit a Rottweiler (I love those dogs too!).



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