In Saint-Rome-de-Cernon, a family mourns the loss of Padawan killed by a retiree who had set a trap to protect his chickens. A specialized lawyer wants to strike harder.
Me Isabelle Terrin, lawyer in Marseille, will not let go of the case. She will go all the way to ensure that the act of cruelty that led to the death of Padawan, a 2-year-old cat, committed last July, be “compensated at its fair value. These facts, which are multiplying on the national territory, are absolutely unbearable in that they not only pulverize the life of an animal, but create emotional damage within an entire family”.
This family lives in Saint-Rome-de-Cernon. The defendant too. The lawyer says: “He said he had chickens and set a trap to catch rats, weasels…anything that can get into a chicken coop and found a cat trapped there. He went and got a rifle and shot Padawan in putting him at least three times in the skull.” What she knows, she learned in November 2021, when the prosecution had deliberated and sentenced the pensioner to a penal order.
It is not for pecuniary or mercantile considerations but to advance the cause
What to jump the advice of the masters of the cat: “It’s cheap justice. It’s still about the killing of a living being endowed with sensitivity and this orientation for me, defender of the cause, is minimalist, and does not correspond to the seriousness of the act committed.”
A month later, the law was amended and the lawyer intends to rely on this text. “That is to say that the criminal order which fixes the repression at 400 € and the emotional damage at 300 € is minimalist. The civil party has no say in the chapter on repression, because it is considered in French law not be interested only in their civil interests […] I am above all Padawan’s lawyer and, if I told my client to oppose this penal order, it is not for pecuniary or mercantile considerations, but to advance the cause as a whole. In addition, I think of seizing the civil jurisdiction of a request for compensation for the whole of the siblings. I repeat, we are not driven by a mercantile will, but touching the wallet is a deterrent.”
No mention on his criminal record
While the Millau court will first have to rule on the opposition on May 19, after a dismissal pronounced on April 21, Me Isabelle Terrin recalls that, last year, “I had two incarcerations for acts of cruelty”. However, the pensioner having no mention on his criminal record, it seems very unlikely that he will be sentenced to imprisonment. Contacted on Wednesday, his lawyer, Me Christophe Bringer, apparently did not have time to respond to our requests.
To date, the request for compensation for the whole family does not seem to have been filed yet.
Other matters with more important interests
The law says that the fact, publicly or otherwise, of seriously abusing or committing an act of cruelty towards a domestic animal, or tamed, or held in captivity, is punishable by three years’ imprisonment and €45,000. fine.
In the event of serious abuse or acts of cruelty to a domestic animal, tamed or held in captivity as provided for in this article, the fact of being the owner or guardian of the animal is considered as an aggravating circumstance.
When the facts lead to the death of the animal, the penalties can go up to 5 years in prison and a fine of €75,000. In the case, known as “Jagger”, named after the animal killed, the decision of the Poitiers Court of Appeal set the damages awarded at €1,500 for each member of the family and at €800 for the son who lived with her.
In the “Cats of Beceleuf” case, the Niort court decided to compensate the civil parties up to €1,700.