THE owner of a six-month-old kitten which was starved to a third of its body weight and beaten at a home in Haydon Wick has been banned from keeping any animal for a decade.

Sarah Reeves, 19, was sentenced yesterday for causing unnecessary suffering to the tiny kitten, called Tilly, which was ‘clearly dying’ when the RSPCA were called to a property in Speedwell Close and found her under a blanket on the sofa, cold to the touch.

The authorities were only alerted after Reeves, now of no fixed address, discovered a friend had been filmed throwing the tiny cat against the walls of her home on November 21 last year.

Despite being rushed to Drove Vets, Tilly was beyond help and had to be euthanised on humane grounds.

Tanya Jones, prosecuting, told the court: “RSPCA inspector Miranda Albinson was informed a cat at an address in Swindon had allegedly been beaten two days previously.

“She was told that there was video footage of the incident.

“She could see the cat was emaciated and looked skeletal.

“Her ribs and hip bones were protruding, and the cat was clearly dying.

“The surgeon would have expected a cat that age to weigh about two to three kilogrammes, and in his opinion, it is not something we would expect to happen over a few days.”

Terry McCarthy, defending Reeves, said much of the punishment meted out to the kitten was not her fault.

“There is another person involved in this matter and large part of the suffering was due to the mistreatment handed out by that young man, who my client described as disgusting,” he said.

“There was water found in this poor cat’s lungs as a result of his activities.

“While she has some experience of animals, this is the first time she has had a cat to look after herself.

“Unfortunately, these young men came round to her house and one was very bad to this cat.

“She has been in care and is supported by the council as we speak.

“She has made an application for benefits and will receive those in a couple of weeks.”

Reeves was banned from keeping any animals for 10 years and given a community order for 12 months, with six months supervision and 100 hours of unpaid work.

She was also made to pay £500 in courts costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

A 16-year-old youth will be sentenced today for his role in Tilly’s suffering.