Alleged cat killer finally caught
Looks like the cat is out of the bag, and the cat murderer can no longer hide from authorities.
The game of cat and mouse is over — authorities have finally found the suspect after all the calls for in-vehicle footage and citizens to come up front with information on the elusive killer. The suspect was nabbed on Sunday (27 Dec) at Yishun Ring Road.
The accused, Lee Wai Leong, was charged in court for animal cruelty for throwing a cat over the parapet of the 13th floor at Block 115B Yishun Ring Road at about 10.30am on 30 Oct.
Many cat lovers and Yishun residents are probably heaving a sigh of relief now.
The suspect would return to court on 12 Jan next year, but here are 7 shocking facts about the Yishun cat abuse case you should know before the final verdict is out:
1. The suspect acted on 19 victims
The most recent victim was drowned to death on 26 Dec near Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH). The rest were killed by mutilation, blunt force to the spine or lower back, being thrown from heights or strangulation.
2. Cats do not have 9 lives; only 2 kitties survived
Only 2 feline victims survived the bloodthirsty killer’s attempts on their lives.
On 22 Dec, tabby Oli was discovered with fractured legs at Yishun Block 170, by a neighbourhood cat rescue group Yishun 326 Tabby cat. The fortunate feline managed to survive the attack and required extensive surgery to recover.
The first feline victim survived the attack near Northland Primary School at Yishun Avenue 4.
3. Our cat lover MP helped in the effort to find the killer
Louis Ng, who is a Member of Parliament, as well as the founder of Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), helped to assemble a grassroots fast response team to gather information and apprehend the sick killer.
Mr Ng said he was “delighted” that there was progress in the investigation and urged people with information to “step forward”. He also called for people to work together to “improve public safety, strengthen our animal protection efforts and safeguard the welfare of animals.”
4. The killer struck mostly around his area
The suspect is said to be a resident of Block 115B on Yishun Ring Road.
He was also apprehended along Yishun Ring Road where he claimed at least 5 victims. According to the diagram below, cases 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, and 12 were clustered along or in the vicinity of Yishun Ring Road, while on 12 Dec another cat was thrown from a multi-storey car park at Block 115B Yishun Ring Road.
5. The suspect is sentenced to remand at IMH
The prosecution had requested to remand the suspect Lee Wai Leong at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for two weeks for psychiatric assessment. Lee, who is described to be a small built man, would return to court on 12 Jan.
Meanwhile, the scaredy cat did not enter any pleas to his single charge.
Many have said that this sentence is far too light, considering that he had taken 17 lives in a whopping total of 19 abuse cases since September.
6. Lee faces only one charge under the Animals and Birds Act
Lee is charged with animal cruelty under the Animals and Birds Act. If found guilty of animal cruelty, a first-time offender can be fined up to $15,000 and/or be jailed up to 18 months. For the second offence, the maximum penalty is $30,000 and/ or jail term up to 3 years.
7. He was eventually nabbed thanks to a surveillance camera footage and identification by volunteers
The Ang Mo Kio Police Division and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Agency (AVA) managed to establish the suspect’s identity via surveillance footage and a Cat Welfare Society (CWS) volunteer’s identification of the man.
CWS is a volunteer non-profit organization that rescues strays and advocates the welfare of Singapore’s stray cats.
Earlier on, there were reports that Yishun residents knew who the suspect was, but could not do anything to charge him without substantial evidence.
Some animal rights groups are still under the impression that there are more than one cat abuser. Janet Sum, the founder of Yishun 326 Tabby Cat said:
We will continue to stay vigilant as we believe the killings are not the job of one man.
The volunteer organisation has praised the cooperation between the police and AVA as “a landmark protocol of cooperation between AVA and the police in handling animal cruelty cases”.
In light of the new laws on animal cruelty from last year, CWS expressed their thoughts:
We do hope that with new laws in place, they will map out a reasonable fine, and will not let (perpetrators of) a crime like this get off too easily.
Members of the public with information about the deaths of the cats may call the AVA at 1800-476-1600 or e-mail [email protected].
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