Jail for teenager who shot at and seriously injured several cats

A teenager has been jailed after shooting pet cats in Cranleigh and Guildford, one of which had to be put down, according to police.

Surrey Police say that Mills, aged 19, of Farncombe, was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court today (Friday February 17) after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal damage and seven counts of possession of a firearm. He will serve a 12 month custodial sentence and 12 months on licence.

Mills was also fined £100 and his phone and air weapons were confiscated and will be destroyed.

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According to a police statement, the offences include:

- Monday 21 March 2016, Glebe Road in Cranleigh – family cat ‘Bomber’ was shot in the neck.

- Tuesday 22 March 2016, Ryde Lands in Cranleigh – ‘Ruby’, a beloved family’s pet cat was shot in the neck which resulted in the cat having to be put down and later excavated for forensic examination.

- Tuesday 22 March 2016, Hilliards View in Cranleigh – ‘Coco’ was shot in the eye which had to be later removed.

- Tuesday 22 March 2016, Barnfield in Cranleigh – ‘Black and White’ was shot at through a window causing him to fall and injure himself.

- Tuesday 22 March 2016, Fir Tree Road in Guildford – ‘Pebbles’ was shot in the eye and had to have it removed.

- Thursday 31 March, Palm Grove in Guildford – ‘Dexter’ was shot twice in the upper leg causing injuries which resulted in him having to have an operation.

- Friday 1 April 2016, Hilliard’s View in Cranleigh – ‘Snoopy’ was shot outside the front door of his owners home which resulted in him having his leg amputated.

In a statement read out in court, the owner of ‘Ruby’ who sadly had to be put down, said: “When we first got Ruby she was a very shy cat and we spent lots of time with her to make her the loving cat she became. My son was very attached to her and she would always sleep on his bed. My son took the news really badly and started struggling at school and would become very tearful and quiet. The person who shot our cat has changed our family forever and this is something I will never forgive or forget.”

Sergeant Paul Eden, from Waverley Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Mills’ behaviour is deeply concerning and completely unacceptable and his actions have caused a great deal of distress to a number of families.”

“I hope that this outcome reassures the public that we take reports of this kind extremely seriously and will take action against those who behave in such a cruel and vile manner in our communities.”

A witness who came forward and provided the registration details of Mills’ van will be awarded a £2,000 award from animal rights charity, PETA.

PETA Director of International Programmes, Mimi Bekhechi, said: “We’re delighted that our reward has helped make Surrey a safer place with Mr Mills behind bars, and we commend Surrey Police for its efforts to apprehend him.

“Animal abusers are a danger to everyone: they take their issues out on whoever is available to them – human or non-human. It’s imperative that people who suspect that cruelty to animals is taking place voice their concerns so that culprits can be swiftly brought to justice.”