A.M. (Re), [1998] AJ No 1376 (AB Prov Ct)

The accused, a young person, was charged under: section 445 of the Criminal Code with stealing and injuring and endangering the life of a hamster; and under section 446 of the Code for causing unnecessary suffering to a cat. Both the hamster and the cat were tortured until dead.

The accused denies involvement in the torture and killing of the cat. The co-defendant plead guilty to the latter charge, but both claimed the other was the major assailant.

The accused is acquitted. The charge of injuring and endangering a hamster was dismissed for lack of evidence and the court found there was reasonable doubt that the accused caused unnecessary suffering to the cat.

The co-defendant was described as a liar by witnesses and admitted he suffers memory difficulties. The court believes he would go to great lengths to save face with his family by portraying the accused as the major culprit.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: Alberta

Topics: acquittalcatco-defendantCriminal Codedeathhamsterpetsection 445section 446small animaltortureunnecessary sufferingyoung offender

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