Drunk Hearts fan killed kitten during argument

A HEARTS fan is facing jail after killing an 11-week-old kitten by hurling it against the floor hours after celebrating his team’s cup final win over Hibs.

Andrew Ronaldson had been out drinking after attending the game at Hampden when he went round to friend Laura McFarlane’s home in Wester Hailes.

The 21-year-old became embroiled in an argument with Ms McFarlane and grabbed her kitten, named Keeko, and raised the animal above his head.

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Ronaldson dashed the kitten on to the floor, leaving the tiny pet suffering fits with blood coming out of its mouth.

Horrified Ms McFarlane picked up the kitten and ran upstairs to escape Ronaldson, but it died moments later.

Today, she told the Evening News that she and her three young sons were “heartbroken” over the kitten’s death.

Ronaldson, of Broomhouse Avenue, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday after previously admitting to causing the animal’s death in the early hours of May 20 at the house in Morvenside.

Sentencing was deferred by Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC who called for further reports.

Ms McFarlane, 26, said: “I’ve know him for years. I’d been in the pub that night but went back home. He came to my door with a couple of friends. He’d been at the Cup Final that day and was drunk, but I let him in.

“Then he was trying to start an argument with me. During that, he picked up Keeko and threw her with every bit of force he could on to the 
laminated floor.

“The police did a postmortem and said she would have died instantly.

“She seemed to be having fits, but the police said that would’ve been the nerve endings making her do that.

“He knew how much Keeko meant to me and my children so I think that’s why he did it.”

Ms McFarlane got the kitten from a friend as a pet for her sons, Lewis, eight, Kalvin, five, and Owen, three. But despite being devastated by the loss of the pet, she said she did not want Ronaldson jailed.

She said: “It’s difficult for me to say this, but I don’t want him to go to jail for what he did. I just want him to realise what he did was wrong. And he should be banned from ever having a pet of his own.”

Fiscal depute Fiona Caldwell told the court yesterday that Ronaldson had arrived at Ms McFarlane’s home at about 1am, and the argument broke out around an hour later.

The fiscal added: “The accused sat up and maliciously grabbed the kitten. He raised it above his head and forcibly threw it against the floor.”

Defence solicitor, Angus McLennan, said that in a statement to the police Ronaldson, who has previous convictions, told them that the kitten had “jumped up on to him and he had brushed it away”. His client, he said, had a problem with alcohol abuse.

Mr McLennan added: “He is extremely regretful about the circumstances in which this animal died.”