Chesterfield man stabbed cat nine times in drunken frenzy

Damon Kruger outside Chesterfield Magistrates Court
Damon Kruger outside Chesterfield Magistrates Court

A blood-spattered drunk who stabbed his mother’s cat nine times during a vicious attack in her kitchen has been banned from keeping animals.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard this month how Damon Kruger, 43, of Gladstone Road, Chesterfield, had been carving chicken but as his mother’s cat Toby tried to get at the meat he lashed out with a five-inch knife in a drunken frenzy.

Prosecuting solicitor John Sutcliffe revealed that a blood-spattered Kruger confessed to the attack during a chilling phone call to police as the cat hid in fear.

Mr Sutcliffe, representing the RSPCA, said: “The defendant said, ‘I’ve stabbed my mother’s cat. It’s still alive. I need a vet. It’s in a bad way. I used a carving knife from the kitchen. It attacked me and I attacked it back. I want someone here. I’m drunk. I’ve been drinking’.

“Police attended the address on Snape Hill Crescent, Dronfield, and described Kruger as intoxicated and he said he had had 15 pints of lager and he had an alcohol problem.

“His hands were covered in blood and he had scratches on his arms and the kitchen - from floor to ceiling - was spattered in blood.

“The cat hid in the lounge behind a sofa and was terrified.”

Kruger, who had been looking after the pet while his mother was in Spain, originally told police he had mental health issues and the cat had attacked him and he had stabbed it once.

But veterinary examinations found six stab wounds to the cat’s left side and three to its right side.

Mr Sutcliffe said that an expert described the injuries as evidence of “a sustained and vicious attack” and it was confirmed that if two of the wounds had gone slightly deeper the cat would have suffered massive bleeding and death.

When Kruger learned about the nine wounds, he accepted he must have held the cat down but could not remember much of what happened.

Kruger pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the cat after the incident on August 9, last year.

Defence solicitor Bertie Mather said: “Words can’t express Mr Kruger’s shame and the remorse over what he did. When he discusses the incident he becomes extremely emotional and expresses sorrow and regret.”

Mr Mather added: “The cat jumped up and was trying to get at the chicken and he pushed it to one side and the situation got out of control and the cat was persistent and aggressive and he reacted.”

It was the seventh year Kruger had looked after the cat while his mother was on holiday, according to Mr Mather, and the cat was of an aggressive temperament.

Mr Mather explained Kruger has had alcohol problems which he is addressing and he has also suffered with depression and has been suicidal.

Magistrates sentenced Kruger to a 12 week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months with supervision and an alcohol activity requirement. He was also banned from keeping animals for life and ordered to pay £260 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

Following the court hearing on February 18, RSPCA Inspector Michael Darling thanked Chapel House Vets for saving Toby’s life and Chesterfield RSPCA Animal Rescue Centre for re-homing the cat.

Insp Darling added: “This defendant clearly has problems which he is addressing but the case sends out a message that you cannot mistreat animals.”