Rhyl/Prestatyn, North Wales: Lewis David Brereton and Joshua Harvey Weir

#TheList Lewis David Brereton, 26, of  Bryntirion Avenue, Rhyl, and Joshua Harvey Weir, also age 26, of  Linden Drive, Prestatyn – laughed hysterically as they filmed themselves throwing a cat high in the air “like a rugby ball”

A drunken Joshua Weir launched this defenceless cat high into the air like a rugby ball
A drunken Joshua Weir launched this defenceless cat high into the air like a rugby ball while his pal Lewis Brereton laughed and cracked jokes

Appalling video footage shows Joshua Weir (pictured) throwing a helpless cat into the air and across a road while his accomplice Lewis Brereton films it. The pair laugh hysterically and crack jokes throughout the cat’s ordeal.

The men can be heard saying in the clip “Hope you have nine lives” and “You have strong limbs”.

The cat lands on her feet in a state of disorientation and runs off in terror.

The pair pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary cruelty by throwing the cat.

Tudur Owen, prosecuting for the RSPCA , said: “One of the men [Weir] held [the cat] in both hands and swung his arms before launching it in the air at 45 degrees. It reached a considerable height, twisting in the air.”

Court chairman Darren Campbell told Weir his decision to pick up a defenceless animal and throw it in the air “for your own enjoyment, is incredulous to us.”

He said animals felt pain and fear and magistrates had watched the video of “appalling behaviour” being filmed and posted on social media.

Solicitors for both men said they had been drinking and were remorseful.

Brereton’s lawyer said the pair were “very drunk” but had owned up at once adding that Brereton found it ”excruciating” to now view the video.

Weir’s lawyer told the court her client had lost his job looking after people with autism. He was now to take a training course in London for close protection work. She said that what had happened was completely out of character.

Cat abuser Joshua Weir outside court
Joshua Weir outside court

A probation officer said Brereton stated he’d been drinking to block out his feelings because he was “in turmoil” about his sick mother and that what happened had affected Weir’s mental state.

The court chairman said: “You are not going to prison because of your previous good character.”

Speaking after the case, RSPCA deputy chief inspector Phil Lewis said: “This is a very shocking and distressing incident where a ginger and white cat was filmed being thrown high up in the air in Rhyl.

“It is just appalling how someone would deliberately inflict pain on this poor defenceless cat for their entertainment. The cat ran off after the incident.”

Sentencing:
Weir and Brereton were given eight-week prison sentences, suspended for six months, plus £490 costs. They were both banned from keeping animals for three years (expires October 2021)

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