'He killed our cat with his bare hands and walked free'
A MAN who publicly snapped a beloved pet kitten's neck in a Darling Downs pub has avoided jail.
The Warwick Magistrates Court today heard Alf John Dalby, 20, was caught on CCTV footage grabbing 12-week-old Sassy by the scruff and breaking its neck in the Toobeah Hotel beer garden.
Court documents revealed the footage showed Dalby holding the kitten by its scruff, before leaving the vision momentarily.
Dalby returned to view holding the motionless, lifeless dead kitten.
Sassy's owner Tracy Chumbley said she could not bring herself to watch the footage caught on the hotel's cameras.
"He killed the cat with his bare hands," Miss Chumbley said.
Miss Chumbley said Sassy and her son Jacob had become "extremely attached" since the kitten showed up on their doorstep.
"She was a bit mangy, and we treated her, wormed her and fed her up," Miss Chumbley said.
"We planned to give her away but my son became so attached to her that we decided to keep her.
"They were inseparable; always playing together.
"She had so much character for a kitten, so we called her Sassy."
The court heard Dalby admitted to killing the cat, saying he took it to the back of the hotel and snapped her neck by pulling her head back.
Miss Chumbley said she remembered the day before the sickening attack, her nephew had been patting Sassy and was approached by Dalby.
"My nephew had been cuddling Sassy, when (Dalby) came over and was saying things like, 'I hate cats'," Mr Chumbley said.
"My brother-in-law stepped in, because my nephew is nine years old and was patting Sassy."
Dalby told police in an interview that he had driven 10km from the hotel before throwing the dead kitten out his car window.
Miss Chumbley said they never knew what happened to Sassy's body until today.
"My son and nephew spent the next day calling out to her and looking," she said. "We never told the kids what happened to her.
"We just said she probably found a new home."
Dalby appeared in court yesterday with the support of his mother, aunty and employer.
His barrister Ross Cameron told the court the entire night was out of character for the 20-year-old.
"There's no overtone of premeditation, and the animal wasn't left to suffer," Mr Ross said.
"There's no feature of animal cruelty per say, though it's still a horrible thing and we're not shying away from that."
Mr Manthey said there was little Dalby could do to patch up the damage of his sickening crime.
"It outrages the community and it's a very emotional subject," Mr Manthey said.
"You can't do much more than bring the cat back from the dead."
Dalby pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing the animal and was sentenced to 18 months' probation.