*Warning: This story contains graphic depictions of the offending

A Cobden man charged with torturing cats by cutting off their paws, and burning one cat alive while beating another to death, yesterday admitted the offences in the Greymouth District Court.

Hayden Growcott, 22, faced two charges of animal cruelty in connection with cats which had gone missing from the Greymouth suburb of Cobden between mid-2013 and May this year. Many of the cats were never returned but two were found with injuries to their paws from gin traps.

Growcott had gloated to friends that he had “hung dead cats above creeks for eels to eat”.

In January, Growcott captured a cat while at home in Cobden, and beat it to death.

He then cut off one of the cat’s paws with a tomahawk, keeping it as a memento in his shed.

In May, he used a cage to capture another cat, named Midnight, from a neighbouring property. He then poured petrol on to the cat and set it alight, taking a video of the act on his cellphone.

Thinking the cat was dead he then dumped it.

Midnight survived the attack, but suffered severe burns in the process. Its ears were badly shrivelled and had to be amputated and its hearing has since been severely diminished.

– Greymouth Star