According to BBC News, two youths involved in the torture of a cat which was forced into a microwave have avoided a custodial sentence. The 17-year-olds from Teignmouth had earlier admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. A youth court, sitting at Newton Abbot Magistrates' Court, gave the teenagers - who cannot be named - a 12-month youth rehabilitation order.

Colin Sherlock, 44, of Newton Abbot, was jailed for 126 days in November for his part in the torture. At an earlier hearing, the court was told the cat - called Roxy - was tortured at a house in Teignmouth in May.

The black and white cat was put inside a microwave oven by Sherlock and the microwave was switched on. Roxy was then pushed into a tumble drier and spun before being put in a freezer and finally "dunked" in a bowl of washing up water, which must have been very stressful.

'Unpleasant and distressing'

The attack on the cat was filmed by one of the youths using a mobile phone. Chair of the youth bench, Mrs Jan Gant, said it had been an "unpleasant and distressing" case.

A significant aspect of the case had been the issue of alcohol consumed by the drunken teenagers, Mrs Gant said. As part of the rehabilitation order, the youths were given an activity requirement to carry out 90 days' unpaid work, some of which will benefit the RSPCA.

Mrs Gant said she recognised the remorse shown by the teenagers and as both had pets at the family home, they were not disqualified from keeping animals in future.

No order was made for costs.

After the sentencing, RSPCA Inspector Jim Farr said he was pleased, describing it as "the right outcome". The cat survived and has been rehomed by the animal charity.

The petition seeking a fair sentence for the youths can be see here. The petition called for a prison sentence. According to the petition,

"In view of the rise in animal cruelty I am signing this petition asking that a maximum prison sentence is given to these 2 individuals in view of the seriousness of this and in the hope it will send out a message that animal abuse will not be tolerated!"

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