A man who killed his cat has been jailed for 10 months and disqualified from owning animals for five years.

Andrew Coyle, 25, of Deramore Drive in Strathfoyle in County Londonderry, was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the cat on 5 February.

A relative of Coyle told police that he had contacted them by video call and informed them that he killed the cat.

On Monday Londonderry Magistrates’ Court heard that police found the body of the cat in a bin at Coyle’s home.

Officers described Coyle as behaving “erratically” when they arrived to the house.

A solicitor for Coyle said his client showed “extremely serious and alarming” behaviour and described him as acting “beyond the social norms” to attract attention.

The solicitor said Coyle had a “deep sense of shame and remorse” about the incident.

The judge said this offence was “at the highest possible end of the scale” and described it as a “hideous and horrendous offence”.

The judge imposed a sentence of 10 months in prison, a ban on owning animals for five years and a restraining order on Coyle in relation to the family member who reported him to the police.