Thursday 13 March 2014


A sad story about Laura Cunliffe, a young woman with severe mental health problems who has been sectioned many times. She put a kitten in a microwave and it later died - story here.

Today she received 14 weeks in gaol (14 weeks!) - even the RSPCA appeared to recoil somewhat from this excessive sentence.

It's upsetting to think about the pain which the kitten suffered but it was probably much less than a rat suffers when poisoned legally with warfarin - something which happens by the million every day and nobody cares.

So this has nothing to do with animal rights (see my recent post here) but rather our particular culture which finds cats sweet and rats horrible.

And, yes, I share that prejudice and agree with the law which forbids cruelty to cats but allows you to poison rats. But logically you can't really justify making a big deal out of something which is just based on sentimentality.

And, more to the point, we have to have a sense of proportion and some understanding for deeply troubled people.

But amid all the humbug and sanctimonious nonsense spoken by officials in the court the only utterances which had the ring of truth and compassion were shouted by the desperate family from the public gallery as the cruel sentence was passed:-

"She doesn't know what's happening - she hasn't a clue."

"This is a failure of medical services, judge."

Pity them, pity Laura!