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Jilted Frenchman jailed for burning girlfriend's cat alive

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Animal rights groups hold photos of the cat Griffin outside court. Photo: AFP
08:31 CET+01:00
A Frenchman who burned his girlfriend's cat alive in a jealous rage before throwing it from the seventh floor window was handed a two--year prison sentence on Monday.

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.”

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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.

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