A French man who laughed as he tortured a kitten is headed to jail.
The man, 24-year-old Farid Ghilas of Marseille, posted a video to Facebook in which he and a cameraman joke as Ghilas hurls a kitten against an apartment building. The video went viral as users lashed out at Ghilas over his heartless act. Ghilas responded to several of the critical comments by insulting their authors.
As the video spread, Facebook users copied and pasted his profile information and contact information across the web and called for his arrest. Police arrested Ghilas less than 24 hours after he posted the video online.
He appeared in court on Monday. More than 200 animal rights activists gathered outside as Ghilas was convicted of “acts of cruelty against a domestic and tame animal.” He was sentenced to one year in prison.
When asked to explain his actions, Ghilas said, “I do not know what came over me. I walked around the neighborhood. Cat came to me. I took it, I swung.”
An online petition calling for the man who filmed Ghilas’ crime to be prosecuted has accumulated over 40,000 signatures.
Andy Salviano, president of the Society for the Protection of Animals, said he hopes the sentencing will serve as a warning “for all those who torment animals.”
The kitten thrown by Ghilas was rescued by a witness and has been named Oscar. Oscar suffered a fractured leg from the fall and is being cared for at the Marseille SPA. A doctor overseeing Oscar said he is recovering and that “like all kittens, he’s just waiting to play.”
Here’s the video of Ghilas throwing Oscar. Be warned – it’ll make you cringe.
On a brighter note, here's a picture of Oscar showing off his cast at the Marseille SPA.