Contract worker K. Ganesh was found guilty of causing unnecessary pain or suffering on the cat at the court here yesterday by Sessions Court judge Rasyihah Ghazali.
The 42-year-old accused, who claimed trial when charged with the offence on Oct 16, 2018, was sentenced to 34 months in prison and fined RM40,000, in default four months in prison.
Rasyihah said the prosecution had successfully proven its case against the accused beyond any reasonable doubt.
In her judgment, she said the sentencing took into account the fact that Ganesh was the one who placed the cat into the dryer.
“The sentence should serve as a lesson to the accused and to society at large to avoid cruelty to animals,” she said.
She ordered Ganesh’s sentence to start on the day of the sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nurul Ain Shafie and Selangor Veterinary Department prosecuting officer Roslan Mohd Isa stood for the prosecution while counsel S. Muthuveeran represented Ganesh.
During mitigation earlier, the defence asked that Ganesh be given a minimal prison sentence as he could not afford to pay a fine.
“He only earns RM20 a day and is providing for his wife and child, as well as his father who is a person with disability after his leg was amputated due to diabetes,” said Muthuveeran.
He added that this was also Ganesh’s first offence.
The prosecution, however, argued that his cruel act towards an innocent and defenceless cat warranted a harsh sentence.
Roslan said Ganesh’s behaviour showed that he had no regard for the life of an animal.
“We have always seen this act as a result of the accused’s attitude of not giving any regard to the life of the cat nor does he see an animal as a living being.
“Animals have the right to live and their welfare should be taken care of,” he said, adding that the clip of the perpetrator in the midst of the act – which went viral – has also incurred the anger of many Malaysians.
In the same proceedings, Muthuveeran also asked for an application for a stay of sentence while waiting for the case to be referred to the High Court.
DPP Nurul Ain objected to the application.
Rasyihah, however, allowed Ganesh’s application, with the bail being increased from RM12,000 to RM20,000.
She also ordered any appeal to be filed by Nov 12.
Ganesh and two others, taxi driver A. Mohanraj, 42, and technician SS Satthiya, 26, had all claimed trial last year to the offence committed between 12.54am and 1am on Sept 11, 2018 at a self-service launderette in Taman Gombak Ria, Batu Caves.
All three were charged under Section 29(1)(e) of the Animal Welfare Act 2015.
The charge, which is punishable under Section 29(1) of the same Act and read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code, carries a maximum fine of RM100,000 or a jail term of up to three years, or both, on conviction.
It was reported that Mohanraj – who later changed his plea to guilty – was sentenced to two years’ jail while Satthiya had received a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.
According to the statement of the facts, a launderette manager received a call from a customer on Sept 11, 2018, informing him that there was a carcass of a pregnant cat in a dryer.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed there were two men, one of whom took the cat out from under a table in the launderette and threw it into the dryer.
The men then inserted tokens into the dryer before exiting the premises.
The manager then lodged a police report on Sept 14 and the perpetrators were arrested on the same day.
The footage went viral on social media.