Lee Wai Leong (wearing a surgical mask) making his way out of the State Courts in January. (Yahoo photo/Safhras Khan)
A 41-year-old man who has mild intellectual disability was sentenced in court to 18 months’ probation on Tuesday (7 June) for throwing a cat to its death from a HDB block.
Lee Wai Leong pleaded guilty last month to one charge under the Animals and Birds Act. He threw the cat from the 13th floor of Blk 115B Yishun Ring Road in October last year because it was “noisy”.
Calling for a probation suitability report then, defence lawyer Josephus Tan told the court that Lee’s parents had locked him up in their house after he was released from remand in January. They even forced him to sleep on a separate mattress in their master bedroom.
Tan, who described Lee as “simple-minded”, said that the parents did so because they did not want him to “go out wandering in the night”.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao supported the call for probation, saying that Lee did not appear to act with cruel intent.
District Judge Mathew Joseph agreed, noting that Lee had committed his first offence. A report by the Institute of Mental Health revealed that Lee has moderate intellectual disability.
In sentencing Lee on Tuesday, Judge Joseph said that animal violence must not be condoned, The Straits Times reported. “It is cruel and it is a cowardly act against a defenceless creature. I hope you have learnt from this.”
Lee could have been jailed for up to 18 months or a fine amounting to $15,000 or both.