Paul Rogers jailed for microwaving his pet rabbit

Paul Rogers jailed for microwaving his pet rabbit

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Introduction

What is it with pets, microwaves and nasty people? In addition to Kittens, we now have a pet rabbit.

On 23rd October 2013 Paul Rogers bought a pet rabbit, taking her back to his hostel when he let her run free, “feeding it dandelion” and naming her Fluffy George Fudge. Fluffy only made it five days as a cherished pet. On 28th October, Mr Rogers “was “not happy with his lot” after his prescription request was refused” for his medication, and he decided to take it out on his new friend.

He put the rabbit in the microwave and watched her squeal for three minutes before taking Fluffy out and leaving her on a saucepan lid for another resident of the hostel to find.

There was a guilty plea, and it seems a long history of psychiatric issues, as mitigation. Notwithstanding that, the District Judge held that only a sentence of immediate imprisonment would do, sending Mr Rogers to prison for 16 weeks as well as ordering him to pay £200 in costs and the £80 victim surcharge.

 

Sentence

There are sentencing guidelines – see page 22 of this document. It does appear to fall into the top category, with a sadistic attempt at torture. This gives a starting point of 18 weeks, with a range of 12 to 26 weeks.

We don’t know when the plea was entered, but given the offence was a year ago (sentence on 5th November 2014) it was probably not at the first opportunity, thus giving a starting point of about 18-20 weeks.

This is a particularly nasty offence, and it is hard to disagree with the sentence imposed, or the fact that it was not suspended, and so for that reason we would not expect an appeal…

*And thanks very much to Solicitor1979 who has pointed out that, given when the offence was committed, that the surcharge was unlawful as prior to 1st September 2014 it was not imposed on someone who was sent to prison by the magistrates court.

 

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

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