A fifty-year-old suffering from Parkinson's disease was prosecuted for having mutilated many cats around Caen (Calvados), while he was under medication.
He was declared criminally irresponsible on Wednesday by the court of appeal.
The defendant was retried for having dislocated or broken the paws of 15 cats between May and June 2018.
In its judgment, "the court considered that, at the time of the facts, this 53-year-old man was suffering from a disorder which caused an abolition of his discernment and the control of his acts", explained President Jeanne Chéenne.
Declared criminally irresponsible, he was therefore not subject to any penalty.
The court of appeal took into account the arguments of the defense, which had put forward the drug treatment followed by the engineer to explain his actions.
Six months suspended prison sentence required by the prosecution in June 2021
Suffering from Parkinson's disease, he had been under treatment (Neupro then Requip) between 2015 and 2018. The lawyer for the engineer, Me Dominique Mari, welcomed the decision of the Caen Court of Appeal with "great satisfaction ", but also" a great emotion "evoking" three years of legal battle to achieve this result ". “We had to appeal to experts, science, medicine, to gain recognition of the adverse effects of these drugs. It is a message that the Court of Appeal of Caen sends to the correctional courts so that they study this type of files with all the necessary light, ”estimated his counsel.
The first judgment of the “torturer of cats”, in June 2018, took place according to the procedure of immediate appearance, the day after his arrest. The defendant, a former executive director of a large automobile company in the Caen region, had been sentenced to eighteen months in prison, including nine months closed, and had appealed against the judgment. The fifty-year-old and his family, who had been taken to task on social networks and had been threatened with death, will now be able to turn the page, said the lawyer. "They will be able to rebuild themselves morally and psychologically after this real social death" and "start a new life", according to Me Mari.
Six months suspended prison sentence was required at the hearing on June 21, 2021, by the prosecution. The latter had criticized the defendant for having "freed himself from the warnings of the medical profession" who regularly asked him if he had side effects such as strange behavior. But apart from the case of a patient who tortured cats in Argentina while he was treated with the same molecule, the scientific literature only mentioned as a side effect addiction to games, hypersexuality or compulsive shopping, had pleaded Me Mari.
The alteration of his judgment due to the taking of these drugs has already been retained by the correctional court of Caen in February in another case: the fifty-year-old had been sentenced to a fine of 500 euros for having stabbed a dog, a Beauceron , during a visit to the Verson SPA, in April 2017.
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Court of Appeal