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Ipswich teenager who stabbed hedgehog to death spared jail

PUBLISHED: 18:58 03 January 2017 | UPDATED: 21:39 03 January 2017

The hedgehog killed by Tyler Perkins

The hedgehog killed by Tyler Perkins

Archant

An 18-year-old who stabbed a hedgehog in what has been called an “absolutely appalling act of cruelty” has been given a community order.

Tyler Perkins at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court, where he was given an 18-month community order and banned for keeping animals for 10 years after killing a hedgehog.Tyler Perkins at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court, where he was given an 18-month community order and banned for keeping animals for 10 years after killing a hedgehog.

Tyler Perkins, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich, was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court this afternoon.

He must serve an 18-month community order with a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement, and pay legal costs.

The killing, witnessed by a support worker, saw Perkins stab the hedgehog three times in his back garden in the early hours of September 9.

At 2am the 18-year-old went outside for a cigarette with his support worker but a rustling noise caused by the hedgehog disturbed him.

He went back inside and grabbed something from the kitchen work surface before running into the garden again.

The worker said she then saw Perkins stab the hedgehog once with a knife, before stabbing it twice more with a frenzied action.

He then attempted to throw the hedgehog over his neighbour’s fence.

The teenager had become angry with the animal after he saw it going near his bike and had been drinking, the court heard.

He admitted to having alcohol problems in an interview and said he was very drunk so had little recollection of what went on.

But Perkins did admit killing the hedgehog, and John Hughes, defending, said he was very remorseful and had shown good character.

After the attack, the support worker said Perkins, who had admitted feeling trapped in his own flat and angry towards two people earlier that evening, said: “I can’t believe I did that”.

Sentencing, chairman Jerry Noble said the 18-year-old had committed an “appalling act of cruelty”.

RSPCA inspector Jason Finch, who was called to Perkins’ flat after the attack, said when he saw what had happened he was horrified.

“The hedgehog would have suffered horrendously before it died,” he said.

“Hedgehogs are in decline and acts like this do not help.

Mr Finch, who said reports of intentional acts of cruelty were few and far between, added: “I hope this can act as a deterrent.

“Acts like this need to be punished.”

Perkins was also ordered to pay £300 in costs with an £85 victim surcharge.

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