April 2021

Vengeful boyfriend trampled ex-partner’s cat to death in vile revenge attack

A man who took his former partner’s cat and trampled it to death in a vile and malicious revenge attack has been spared jail.

Reece Coney, 21, of Wye Avenue, Bridgwater saw the animal in the car park of Asda in Bridgwater and took it to the Quantock Hills where he put it in a shopping bag and repeatedly stamped on it

A judge at Taunton Crown Court said it had been a targeted attack designed to deliberately distress his ex.

He said: “This was an absolutely disgraceful offence.

“It was malicious, deliberate activity and beyond the pale frankly, and it was targeted.”

Prosecutor Ms Lucy Taylor said the defendant, a delivery driver, had been in a relationship with a woman who had a cat called Pedro.

Following the split, she had left the animal in the care of a relative but when she returned was told it had disappeared. She printed posters and displayed them in the neighbourhood but there was no sign of him.

Six months later, in November 2019, she received a message from the defendant’s latest partner to say the defendant had killed the cat by strangling and stamping.

She said Coney had seen the cat while at Asda and put it in the footwell of the car.

He had told his partner to drive to Cheddar so he could throw it off the cliffs. She had refused but instead, and out of fear, agreed to drive to the Quantock Hills

When they got there Coney took the animal outside and killed it with his foot, she said. He then buried the bag under some weeds.

The pet was never found.

Ms Taylor said the defendant messaged his ex to try and persuade her not to go to the police.

“There was clearly evidence of planning. It seems to have been a revenge attack on what is termed his ex partner’s property but was her pet cat.”

Coney pleaded guilty to an offence of criminal damage. The offence carries a maximum of three months in prison.

When police arrested him he initially blamed his latest partner for taking the cat and he had simply released it into the wild.

The defence said Coney ‘feared going to prison’

Judge James Townsend told Coney he would not go to prison. He handed him a 12-month community order and told him to do 60 hours of unpaid work.

Coney must also pay the cat’s owner £600 compensation.

The judge also imposed 20 days rehabilitation to address his behaviour and imposed a further £200 court costs.