KUALA LAMPUR: A Malaysian taxi driver who killed a pregnant cat by putting it into a laundrette dryer was jailed for two years on Thursday, official media reported, in a case that sparked national outrage.
A. Mohanraj admitted breaking animal cruelty laws by causing unnecessary suffering to the cat in the self-service laundry outside Kuala Lumpur in September, official news agency Bernama reported.
Netizens reacted with fury last year when CCTV footage went viral showing two men in the laundrette throwing the cat into the dryer late at night.
They then inserted tokens into the machine to set it running and left. A female customer later found the animal’s carcass and the matter was reported to the police.
Mohanraj, 42, had originally pleaded not guilty to the crime but on Thursday changed his plea, and a judge handed down the two-year jail term. He was facing a maximum three years in prison.
“I feel regret. I apologise to all Malaysians and I promise not to do this again,” he told the court before he was sentenced, The Star newspaper reported.
“When I was detained, I was jeered and insulted by other inmates for the crime.”
Prosecutors had called for a harsh sentence, arguing the case was “of public interest as it involves torturing a defenceless animal”, the paper reported.
Two other people were detained along with Mohanraj for the crime. Prosecutors last year dropped the case against one of them, while the second has pleaded not guilty.