A 20-year-old male student, Cheng Lu, was irritated by his girlfriend’s cat when in her Melbourne, Australia apartment. Her cat had scratched his leg from under a couch in April 2018.
Mr Lu’s response was to grab the cat, Chau Chau, and put her outside (I have decided the cat was female). He did this by throwing Chau Chau onto the balcony, he thought. But he says that he used too much force and he threw Chau Chau over the balcony. The flat is on the 45th floor of a very high rise building. The cat died in the fall.
His former girlfriend, Kaiqu Chen, raced downstairs to find her dead cat. Mr Lu was charged with, I presume, animal cruelty although this is not specified online. He was tried in the magistrates court and the magistrate, Mr Killias, decided that Mr Lu was not guilty of a crime but had participated in a tragic accident by using too much force.
He decided that the man was trying to put Chau Chau outside to teach her a lesson for scratching him and made the mistake of throwing her a bit too far.
“I grabbed the cat and put the cat outside but I might have used a bit too much force,” Mr Lu said, with the aid of a Chinese interpreter.
A police officer spokesman, Constable Tom Roberts, argued that the cat had travelled 2.5 meters through the air from inside the apartment over the balcony. This is around 8 feet in distance. He said that this wasn’t an accident because of the distance travelled.
“The cat went so far the only inference that can be drawn was the intention was to put the cat over the balcony,” Tom Roberts said.
The magistrate rejected his argument and said that there was reasonable doubt that Mr Lu’s behaviour was intentional.
“This was a terrible accident which led to the death of an innocent and apparently, on all accounts, playful pet. But it was not deliberate,” he said.
What was in the mind of Mr Lu? I have this terrible feeling born out of 70 years on the planet that he recklessly threw Chau Chau out of the flat with such force that he knew that she might go over the balcony to her death. If he was reckless, it’s good enough for a conviction.
Is this a, “it’s only a cat” story? Source: 9news.com.au.
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