A Gwynneville woman who killed an eight-week old kitten has had animal cruelty charges against her discharged under mental health legislation.
Wollongong Local Court magistrate Mark Douglass found the woman was not fit to be tried in a criminal court on two counts of committing an act of cruelty on an animal owing to her acute mental illness.
The court heard the woman had been diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia and had been in a mental health facility for the past 12 months, with no scheduled release date in the near future.
Mr Douglass said she faced serious charges that would have attracted a significant penalty, however, he said anyone reading the volume of medical material ‘‘wouldn’t have to get very far’’ before they realised the 42-year-old was very unwell.
Police said the woman and a male friend, with whom she’d been living with for two years, had 15 cats – four fertile females and two litters of kittens, aged six weeks and eight weeks.
On the afternoon of April 28 last year, the woman and her friend were sitting watching television when she picked up a kitten, took it to the kitchen and slammed its head against the bench, apparently killing it instantly.
She then went to the backyard where she threw the kitten’s body over the fence.
The man yelled at her to get out of the house and called police.
When officers arrived, she said: ‘‘What’s the issue? It’s just an animal.’’
She began to ramble incoherently and was taken to Wollongong Hospital, police said.