#TheList Christy James Draper, born 14/11/1985, of 6 Dulas Road, Kirkby, Liverpool L32 8TL and Peter James Finnegan, born 06/05/1986, formerly of Mintor Road, Kirkby and as at November 2019 of 36 Browning Street, Bootle, Liverpool L20 4HH – caught on CCTV goading their dogs into ripping apart a tame feral cat; walked free after Crown Prosecution Service offered no case
Animal lover Alf White used to look after Tooch, a feral tabby which lived near his workplace in Kirkby for five years and was treated by staff as a pet.
But in January 2011 the tile showroom manager arrived at Knowsley Industrial Park to find the cat’s body on the ground.
After searching through CCTV footage covering the yard, the 54-year-old discovered shocking images showing Tooch being ripped apart by dogs before being kicked by a thug who was watching on.
The local newspaper, the Liverpool Echo, published the pictures in an effort to find those responsible and was flooded with callers offering information.
Merseyside police later charged Christy Draper and Peter Finnegan with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
But at a trial which was due to begin on 2 November 2011, prosecutors offered no evidence and the case against the two men was dismissed by District Judge Ian Lomax
He said: “As always it is for the prosecution to prove you are guilty rather than for you to prove you are innocent.
“I do not know what the flaws in the prosecution’s case are but clearly they were spotted and it was decided no evidence is to be offered.
“The case against you is dismissed.”
The two men, wearing tracksuit bottoms and T-shirts, raced from the dock laughing, with one shouting: “You have wasted everyone’s time.”
Mr White, who was waiting to give evidence in the trial, told the ECHO: “I am absolutely fuming. I am shaking with rage. I cannot get my head straight.
“The man from the Crown Prosecution Service told me although they had the CCTV, it was not of the front of the building, only the side, so they could not prove our Tooch was alive when the dogs got hold of her.
“Would you be alive after four dogs got hold of you? I told him she was alive 29 minutes before the attack because I visited her to bring her a blanket and say goodnight.
“But he said that was not in the evidence.”
Mr White, who paid £360 for a vet to fix Tooch’s teeth, said: “You can see another cat, Sylvie, on the video.
“She was lucky to survive.
“She has been moved now to Liverpool Cat Sanctuary so at least now she will be safe.”
The ECHO asked the CPS why the trial collapsed and why it took until the trial date to decide it had no evidence but it failed to respond.