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A homeless man with a history of mental illness has been jailed for four months for cooking his pet rabbit in the microwave, killing it last year.

Paul Rogers, 60, got tired of the animal after only five days and thought cooking it in the microwave of the guesthouse he was staying in temporarily was less cruel than throwing it out the window.

One of the house residents heard Rogers talking about how he had watched the animal writhing and squealing in agony in the microwave for three minutes and called the police.

District Judge Joti Boparai 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 then decided to carry out this sadistic act, and not only that, once you put the rabbit in that microwave you watched it while it was squealing in that microwave.

“Three minutes is an extremely long time for anything to be suffering in the way I have heard.

“The way you seemed to be thinking is that if nobody is looking after you you will cause suffering to somebody else.

“This case is so cruel and the suffering of that animal is so extreme that regardless of your personal circumstances I cannot suspend any sentence.”

Rogers was also ordered to pay £200 in costs and was banned from owning or looking after pets for life.

RSPCA spokesman Philip Mann said: “Obviously we completely welcome the ban, it is the most important thing to make sure the gentleman doesn’t have anything to do with animals again.

“We think the prison sentence is completely appropriate in a case like this where we can only really describe the defendant as clearly evil in what he did.

“It is one of the nastiest incidents I have come across.”

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