A defendant in a criminal case in Russia has reportedly been given a reduced sentence partly because he was a cat owner
A court in Siberia has issued a suspended sentence to a defendant in a criminal case, listing cat ownership as one of the mitigating circumstances, Russia’s Mash Telegram channel reported on Sunday, adding that it was allegedly a first in the nation’s judicial practice.
A 48-year-old man in the city of Kemerovo was accused of hooliganism and possession of an illegal firearm on a date in September after he attacked another person while drunk, according to Mash. He also threatened his victim with a gun, the report added, without revealing the man’s identity.
The suspect has since been arrested by the police, had cooperated with the investigation, pleaded guilty, and eventually faced court. The judge found against the defendant and convicted him on all the charges, some of which carry a maximum sentence of up to five years behind bars.
However, the court handed the man a suspended sentence, citing several mitigating circumstances, including his poor health, cooperation with law-enforcement authorities, and cat ownership. Being a cat owner has never previously been considered an extenuating circumstance in Russian criminal law, local media reported in the wake of the decision. Defendants could have expected a certain degree of leniency from the judges only if they had children or relatives they had to care for.
The court has not commented on its decision.
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