A man with a long history of mental illness has been arrested and jailed for killing his pet rabbit. Paul Rogers, 60, was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail after “sadistically” microwaving the rabbit for three minutes.
Rogers had been alternating between homelessness and being a psychiatric patient for most of his life, but he recently found temporary housing at Dorchester Guest House in Gloucester, England. With his life seemingly stabilizing, Rogers recently purchased a pet rabbit, who he named Fluffy George Fudge. He allowed his new pet to roam around his room freely, and Rogers fed Fluffy George Fudge dandelions. The rabbit was only in Rogers’ care for five days before he decided to kill it.
Rogers openly admitted in court that he placed the rabbit in the microwave and watched it die violently as the timer counted down to zero. Fluffy George Fudge screamed, writhed in agony and ran around the microwave until it died. Rogers then put the rabbit’s body onto a saucepan lid and put it into his room.
Rogers felt he was being denied the medication he needed and could no longer care for Fluffy George Fudge. He told Judge Joti Boparai, “I didn’t want blood on my hands, and I felt the most humane way to put her out of her misery was to put her in the microwave.”
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Judge Joti Boparai had no sympathy and believed Rogers’ actions were simply an act of cruelty.
“This is one of the most upsetting and unpleasant cases I have dealt with for a long time,” she said. “Animal cruelty is bad enough when people abuse their pets, but this has resulted in very extreme suffering by a helpless rabbit. You thought about it, you planned it and you decided to carry out this sadistic act – and not only that, once you put the rabbit in that microwave, you watched it while it squealed in that microwave.”
Rogers’ defense attorney, Helen Smith, argued her client wasn’t completely liable for his actions due to his mental health issues.
“This case is shocking and distasteful, but you do have to put the circumstances of this case into the context of this particular defendant,” she said.
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Rogers felt no remorse for his actions.
Image via Flickr