National Post (Latest Edition)

Man who drowned girlfriend’s cats jailed

- Anna Junker

• A man who admitted to drowning two of his girlfriend’s cats was sentenced on Thursday to jail for two years less a day, along with a lifetime ban on having pets.

James Ng, 38, pleaded guilty to two animal cruelty charges on May 8, 2019, which stemmed from two Edmonton incidents in 2015 and 2017 where he drowned his girlfriend’s pet cats and attempted to drown a third.

Crown prosecutor C hris tian Lim argued Thursday morning for a sentence of two years, along with two years of probation and a 25 yearsto- lifetime ban on having pets.

Ng, who now lives in Ontario, appeared at court in person and represente­d himself. He agreed Lim’s proposal would be an appropriat­e sentence.

“There is no excuse, no explanatio­n for what has occurred. I am guilty as charged and deserve everything I get. What has happened here is a total nightmare for everyone involved,” Ng told the court.

According to facts read into the record by Lim and admitted by the accused, Ng was living with his then- girlfriend in a downtown Edmonton apartment.

At the time in 2017, they lived with two cats named Davinci and Picasso and earlier, in 2015, owned a third cat named Ms. P.

In July 2017, Davinci and Picasso were playing noisily while Ng was trying to sleep. He admitted he became angry at Picasso after the cat hissed at him and struck Picasso over the head numerous times. He then took the cat to the bathroom and held its face under the bathtub faucet until the cat drowned.

Ng tried to do the same to Davinci but it put up a fight and Ng gave up and let it live. He also admitted to drowning Ms. P in 2015, while his girlfriend was on a trip to Hong Kong.

Justice Paul Belzil sentenced Ng to serve two years less a day concurrent­ly, two years of probation following his release and a lifetime ban on pets.

Speaking after ward, Lim said Alberta courts recognize animal cruelty is a very serious and very real crime.

“We think the pet prohibitio­n, which I think is really significan­t ( as it’s) lifetime, which Mr. Ng agreed to, is important,” Lim said.

Davinci, the surviving cat, was eventually returned to SAFE Team rescue, a volunteer cat rescue organizati­on. It has since been adopted by a volunteer. Members of the organizati­on attended court Thursday.

“We are relieved and we are glad to see a jail term,” said Bev Betkowski, a volunteer with SAFE Team. “We’re relieved that Mr. Ng took responsibi­lity for his actions and we hope it sets a precedent that animal abuse and suffering is just not acceptable.”

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