Declan Baker put the kitten in the microwave for about 10 seconds
A teenager who put a four-week-old kitten in a microwave has been given 120 hours community service and banned from keeping pets for seven years.
Declan Baker, 18, from Forfar, drunk half a bottle of whisky before cooking the young cat on 17 October last year.
A horrified friend rescued the kitten, which was convulsing and struggling to walk but it had to be put down by vets.
Animal welfare campaigners have said he should have been jailed and Baker was booed as he walked free from court.
Baker admitted the animal cruelty charges against him.
During questioning by police, he told officers that the kitten had been in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
He said it was a joke that went too far and that he regretted it.
Depute Fiscal Donna Brown told Forfar Sheriff Court: "The kitten showed signs of swollen legs and was given steroid injections to reduce inflammation.
"The next day it managed to eat and drink a little, but its body was still swollen. It was taken home by a vet nurse over the weekend and received treatment. But the decision was taken to put it to sleep.
"The vet said recovery would take too long and would involve too much suffering."
This individual's cruel and reckless behaviour clearly showed a total lack of empathy
Advocates for Animals
Defence solicitor Brian Bell told the court that his client had received death threats and had lost his job following the offence.
Sheriff Kevin Veal said: "To put a small, defenceless animal inside a microwave oven and then activate the oven, with the injuries the animal thereafter sustained is altogether appalling and utterly unacceptable."
However, he decided not to jail Baker, saying his sentence would be better served in the community.
He also ordered Baker to pay £150 compensation to cover vet's fees.
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals described the act as "barbaric."
Senior inspector Mark Lumgair said: "This was a horrific act of animal cruelty, beyond any sort of reasonable understanding.
"Not only was the cat subjected to agonising torture, but it did not die from its injuries and endured pain and suffering until it could be put to sleep by a vet."
Ross Minnett, director of Advocates for Animals, added: "We are disappointed that the sheriff failed to acknowledge the severity of this offence. "This individual's cruel and reckless behaviour clearly showed a total lack of empathy and disregard for the level of suffering caused to the kitten."
BBC NEWS | Scotland | Tayside and Central | Man who microwaved cat walks free