• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Jilted Frenchman jailed for burning girlfriend’s cat alive
Animal rights groups hold photos of the cat Griffin outside court. Photo: AFP

Jilted Frenchman jailed for burning girlfriend’s cat alive

The Local/AFP · 2 Feb 2016, 08:31

Published: 02 Feb 2016 08:31 GMT+01:00

The story of Griffin, a six-year-old cat from Nice, has caught the attention of animal rights protesters. And it’s no surprise.

Last week Sebastian Lebras set fire to Griffin in a fit of rage and jealousy against his girlfriend, the cat’s owner, who reportedly wanted to break up with him.

Lebras had already exchanged punches with his partner Nathalie in a drunken dispute after she refused to let him have his mobile phone.

Then their row turned a little more sadistic.

He grabbed the cat and covered him in flammable alcohol and then, holding a cigarette lighter, threatened to set fire to the animal if she didn't give him his phone.

“I didn’t take him seriously. He lit the lighter and the cat caught fire. He then just looked at me with a snarky smile,” she told the court in Nice, according to AFP.

Then in distress and panic the flaming cat set fire to the sofa and the curtains in the apartment, which prompted the boyfriend to show a new level of cruelty by launching the cat out of the window of the seventh floor flat.

Griffin survived the fall, but later had to be put down by the vet due to the extent of his injuries.

“I didn’t want to burn the cat, I just wanted to shock my partner,” Lebras reportedly told police. “It wasn’t me. I don’t know how I did that.”

“She made me lose the plot. I am a nice person.”

Story continues below…

But prosecutors and animal rights groups disagreed.

Around ten groups became civil parties in the case and it was these groups that pressed charges against the man and took him to court.

The prosecutors had demanded a two-year prison sentence to make an example of Lebras and judges agreed that the punishment was appropriate.

The Local/AFP (news.france@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines

Here is a recap of major assaults and foiled attempts since the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris in January 2015.

French fears realized after 'terror attack' on church
Notre Dame is one place of worship that soldiers are asked to protect. Photo: AFP

With the French president describing the brutal killing of a priest during a hostage taking as a "vile terror attack" it appears France's long-standing fears that its churches would be targeted have been realized.

BREAKING
Priest slain in 'terror attack' on church in northern France
Photo: AFP

UPDATED: Two men armed with knives killed a priest after taking several people hostage at a French church, before they were shot dead by police.

One dead after violent clashes in Calais migrant camp
The "Jungle" migrant camp in Calais. Photo: AFP

An Ethiopian has died after he was stabbed in the chest during clashes at the Calais migrant camp.

Nice attack: Two more suspected accomplices held
Photo: AFP

One of the arrested men was reportedly in a photo with the killer beside the truck used in the attack.

Nice security row rumbles on as minister files lawsuit
Photo: AFP

Despite the efforts of the French president the controversy over the security arrangements on the night of the Nice attack won't go away.

Air France strike to see 30 percent of flights grounded
Photo: AFP

Here's what to do if you are affected by the one-week Air France strike that begins on Wednesday.

Pokémon Go sparks chaos and concern in France
Teenagers sprint through a park in Bordeaux, not in panic, but in search of a rare Pokemon. Photo: MonsieurBright/YouTube

Videos of hundreds of people sprinting through a park would normally be cause for panic in France at the moment.

The ten places where you really need to speak French
Photo: Lily A./Flickr

There are some places and situations in France where you just have to speak French.

Isis can be a conduit for psychopaths' violent desires
A pilce of rubbish marks the spot where Nice truck attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was shot by police.

Isis did not create these attackers, they were well on their way.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
Culture
32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
National
Here are the worst scams to avoid whilst driving in France
Analysis & Opinion
Isis can simply be a conduit for the violent desires of psychopaths
Features
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
Culture
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Culture
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
Society
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Culture
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Lifestyle
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
National
Nice attack: What we know so far
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
National
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Society
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
National
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
Politics
Boris Johnson cheered and booed at Bastille Day party
National
Ten reasons not to leave Paris this summer
2,766
jobs available