Calgary

'Sadistic' animal abuser who fatally beat kitten, blowtorched cat gets 2-year sentence

A Calgary man who beat a kitten to death and took a blowtorch to a cat, causing "immense" suffering, has been sentenced to two years in prison and is never again allowed to own an pet.

WARNING: This story contains disturbing and graphic details

Kurt Morgan was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting to killing a kitten and abusing another cat with a blowtorch. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

A Calgary man who beat a kitten to death and took a blowtorch to a cat, causing "immense" suffering, has been sentenced to two years in prison and is never again allowed to own an pet.

Kurt Morgan, 23, pleaded guilty in January to two animal cruelty-related offences and was sentenced Tuesday by provincial court Judge Anne Brown, who called the abuser's actions "sadistic."

Brown attached a two-year probation order to the offender's sentence.

Last July, Morgan held a 12-week-old brown tabby kitten named Zelda by the tail and swung her around, bashing her head into the wall and/or ground.

Afterward, he took a blowtorch to his girlfriend's other cat, a six-year-old named Molly, who survived but suffered burns to her chest, face and all four paws.

Molly's whiskers had been singed on one side of her face and completely burned off on the other. She suffered "considerable pain and distress," according to Dr. Heather White, a Calgary Humane Society veterinarian. 

'I can't control my anger': Morgan

At the time of the attack on the animals, Morgan had been using the blowtorch to do drugs, according to an agreed statement of facts prepared by prosecutor Gord Haight and defence lawyer Ramsha Shafaq.

After he killed and injured the cats, Morgan called his girlfriend and they brought the animals to the humane society. 

Morgan's initial story was that the cat had killed the kitten and then accidentally run through the unattended lit torch.

Eventually, he admitted to police that he had abused the cats.

"I get mad, and when I get mad I can't control my anger," Morgan told a police officer after he was arrested.

Morgan told the officer he had no regret.

At the time he attacked the cats, Morgan was on bail for several driving related offences including flight from police and dangerous driving, charges which he also pleaded guilty to earlier this year. 

Morgan was sentenced to about a year and a half in jail for those offences, which was mostly cancelled out by the time he's already served.

Brown noted Morgan has a lengthy criminal record and is a high risk to re-offend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary crime reporter

Meghan Grant is a justice affairs reporter. She has been covering courts, crime and stories of police accountability in southern Alberta for more than a decade. Send Meghan a story tip at meghan.grant@cbc.ca or follow her on Twitter.

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