Eastbourne man jailed for strangling friend’s cat

Ian Fairweather found his cat dead in the arms of his room-mate

Ian Fairweather found his cat dead in the arms of his room-mate

First published in News by , Crime reporter

A MAN has been jailed for four-and-a-half months for strangling his room-mate’s cat.

Radoslaw Stefaniak throttled tabby Furbie, 12, after complaining she should be put down because she was making a mess in the tiny room he shared with her owner.

Ian Fairweather returned home one evening to find his now ex-housemate covered in scratches and his beloved pet dead in Stefaniak’s arms.

The 57-year-old, of Cavendish Place, Eastbourne, told The Argus: “He was cradling the cat and crying his eyes out and saying ‘she is dead’.

“She was a beautiful cat, a fit, healthy cat, living out her last few years.

“She came before me when it came to eating – I would go without and she would have cat food.

“I wasn’t sure how she was going to take living here, it being so small, but she loved it.”

Stefaniak was jailed yesterday at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

He had missed his trial on July 16 at Hastings Magistrates’ Court, where he was convicted in his absence of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

He moved in with Mr Fairweather, sharing one room, about ten months before the attack on November 28 last year. That evening, Stefaniak suggested the time had come to put Furbie to sleep, having previously complained about her urinating in the room.

However, Mr Fairweather had no plans to put down his pet, who he had adopted from friends about a year earlier.

He went out and returned at about 9.30pm to the awful scene.

He called the police and then the RSPCA, which prosecuted Stefaniak.

Stefaniak claimed he had thrown the cat on the floor in self-defence after she attacked him first. However, a post-mortem examination showed that the cat had bruising around her neck, consistent with strangulation. Defending, Cerys Sayer said her client, who had moved to a different address in Cavendish Place, had been “traumatised” by the incident and it was “not his intention to harm”.

As well as the jail term, Stefaniak has been banned from keeping animals for life.

Afterwards, Mr Fairweather said he did not hold a grudge against Stefaniak – he was “like a brother” to him when he moved in.

He added: “The past is the past, you know. When I see him again in the street I will still chat to him and maybe have a beer with him.

“He had to be punished for what he did. It was wrong and I loved that cat.”

RSPCA inspector Andrew Kirby said he hoped the jail sentence “sends out the message that treating an animal like this won’t be tolerated”.

Comments (24)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:12am Fri 25 Jul 14

straightasadye says...

Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend.
Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend. straightasadye
  • Score: 47

10:26am Fri 25 Jul 14

gaay buoy says...

Ah well at least he'll be able to feed himself now
Ah well at least he'll be able to feed himself now gaay buoy
  • Score: 130

10:32am Fri 25 Jul 14

Minty1971 says...

Hope this evil git gets properly punished. However, on a brighter note at least FatBoySlim has the sound he wanted for his new album.
Hope this evil git gets properly punished. However, on a brighter note at least FatBoySlim has the sound he wanted for his new album. Minty1971
  • Score: 24

10:39am Fri 25 Jul 14

fredaj says...

straightasadye wrote:
Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend.
You want him to be beaten up?

You are no better than the man who killed the cat!
[quote][p][bold]straightasadye[/bold] wrote: Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend.[/p][/quote]You want him to be beaten up? You are no better than the man who killed the cat! fredaj
  • Score: -129

10:51am Fri 25 Jul 14

Phani Tikkala says...

I hope this guy enjoys prison food. And c*ck
I hope this guy enjoys prison food. And c*ck Phani Tikkala
  • Score: 40

11:13am Fri 25 Jul 14

Juleyanne says...

I would not be responsible for my actions if I ever meet this animal abuser!
If the sick bully returns to Eastbourne, let's hope residents and locals have long long memories!
I would not be responsible for my actions if I ever meet this animal abuser! If the sick bully returns to Eastbourne, let's hope residents and locals have long long memories! Juleyanne
  • Score: 26

11:24am Fri 25 Jul 14

Youlikemyjugs says...

Stefaniak = evil
Stefaniak = evil Youlikemyjugs
  • Score: 18

12:00pm Fri 25 Jul 14

straightasadye says...

fredaj wrote:
straightasadye wrote:
Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend.
You want him to be beaten up?

You are no better than the man who killed the cat!
Yep! Did you work that out all by yourself?
[quote][p][bold]fredaj[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]straightasadye[/bold] wrote: Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend.[/p][/quote]You want him to be beaten up? You are no better than the man who killed the cat![/p][/quote]Yep! Did you work that out all by yourself? straightasadye
  • Score: 84

12:07pm Fri 25 Jul 14

NathanAdler says...

fredaj wrote:
straightasadye wrote: Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend.
You want him to be beaten up? You are no better than the man who killed the cat!
I don't want him beaten up. I want him tortured within an inch of his life, his eyes ripped out, kneecaps smashed, ear perforated and his dinky sliced open.

But I will always be a better man than him and YOU Freddy boy.
[quote][p][bold]fredaj[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]straightasadye[/bold] wrote: Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend.[/p][/quote]You want him to be beaten up? You are no better than the man who killed the cat![/p][/quote]I don't want him beaten up. I want him tortured within an inch of his life, his eyes ripped out, kneecaps smashed, ear perforated and his dinky sliced open. But I will always be a better man than him and YOU Freddy boy. NathanAdler
  • Score: 65

1:13pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Number Six says...

But several miles of food chain below Ian Fairweather!
But several miles of food chain below Ian Fairweather! Number Six
  • Score: -7

1:14pm Fri 25 Jul 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

How this man - Ian, the cat's owner - can say he'd speak to him and have a beer with him is beyond me. I would never forgive any person who did anything like this to any animal.

This foreigner should have got 10 years IMO. People who are cruel to animals are well known for going on to attack people.
How this man - Ian, the cat's owner - can say he'd speak to him and have a beer with him is beyond me. I would never forgive any person who did anything like this to any animal. This foreigner should have got 10 years IMO. People who are cruel to animals are well known for going on to attack people. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: -46

1:22pm Fri 25 Jul 14

notaconspiracy says...

That's nothing! I know people who actually EAT animal meat...
That's nothing! I know people who actually EAT animal meat... notaconspiracy
  • Score: -41

1:36pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Nobleox says...

notaconspiracy wrote:
That's nothing! I know people who actually EAT animal meat...
Crawl back in your cave.
[quote][p][bold]notaconspiracy[/bold] wrote: That's nothing! I know people who actually EAT animal meat...[/p][/quote]Crawl back in your cave. Nobleox
  • Score: 38

5:18pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Bored with moaners says...

Juleyanne wrote:
I would not be responsible for my actions if I ever meet this animal abuser!
If the sick bully returns to Eastbourne, let's hope residents and locals have long long memories!
Lets get this is perspective here people..............
.............its a cat!, not a child or an OAP, a CAT!!
[quote][p][bold]Juleyanne[/bold] wrote: I would not be responsible for my actions if I ever meet this animal abuser! If the sick bully returns to Eastbourne, let's hope residents and locals have long long memories![/p][/quote]Lets get this is perspective here people.............. .............its a cat!, not a child or an OAP, a CAT!! Bored with moaners
  • Score: 4

5:59pm Fri 25 Jul 14

NathanAdler says...

Bored with moaners wrote:
Juleyanne wrote:
I would not be responsible for my actions if I ever meet this animal abuser!
If the sick bully returns to Eastbourne, let's hope residents and locals have long long memories!
Lets get this is perspective here people..............

.............its a cat!, not a child or an OAP, a CAT!!
But I love cats and stroke ones I meet in the street. To be honest, and no offence meant, I couldn't give a monkeys knacker about your kids or grandparents. And I certainly wouldn't stroke them in the street.
[quote][p][bold]Bored with moaners[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Juleyanne[/bold] wrote: I would not be responsible for my actions if I ever meet this animal abuser! If the sick bully returns to Eastbourne, let's hope residents and locals have long long memories![/p][/quote]Lets get this is perspective here people.............. .............its a cat!, not a child or an OAP, a CAT!![/p][/quote]But I love cats and stroke ones I meet in the street. To be honest, and no offence meant, I couldn't give a monkeys knacker about your kids or grandparents. And I certainly wouldn't stroke them in the street. NathanAdler
  • Score: 22

7:59pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Bored with moaners says...

NathanAdler wrote:
Bored with moaners wrote:
Juleyanne wrote:
I would not be responsible for my actions if I ever meet this animal abuser!
If the sick bully returns to Eastbourne, let's hope residents and locals have long long memories!
Lets get this is perspective here people..............


.............its a cat!, not a child or an OAP, a CAT!!
But I love cats and stroke ones I meet in the street. To be honest, and no offence meant, I couldn't give a monkeys knacker about your kids or grandparents. And I certainly wouldn't stroke them in the street.
Not sure where I mentioned my kids or grandparents there, but hey ho imagine what you wish.

If you stroke cats in the street you need a few more friends in my opinion.

Do you wear a mac as well when you're stroking your ****?
[quote][p][bold]NathanAdler[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bored with moaners[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Juleyanne[/bold] wrote: I would not be responsible for my actions if I ever meet this animal abuser! If the sick bully returns to Eastbourne, let's hope residents and locals have long long memories![/p][/quote]Lets get this is perspective here people.............. .............its a cat!, not a child or an OAP, a CAT!![/p][/quote]But I love cats and stroke ones I meet in the street. To be honest, and no offence meant, I couldn't give a monkeys knacker about your kids or grandparents. And I certainly wouldn't stroke them in the street.[/p][/quote]Not sure where I mentioned my kids or grandparents there, but hey ho imagine what you wish. If you stroke cats in the street you need a few more friends in my opinion. Do you wear a mac as well when you're stroking your ****? Bored with moaners
  • Score: -20

8:36pm Fri 25 Jul 14

fredaj says...

NathanAdler wrote:
fredaj wrote:
straightasadye wrote: Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend.
You want him to be beaten up? You are no better than the man who killed the cat!
I don't want him beaten up. I want him tortured within an inch of his life, his eyes ripped out, kneecaps smashed, ear perforated and his dinky sliced open.

But I will always be a better man than him and YOU Freddy boy.
Any man is a better at being a man than me as, last time I looked anyway, I wasn't actually a man.

Are you one of those odd people who spend their days standing outside of courts just to shout and swear at the vans taking people to and from the prisons?
[quote][p][bold]NathanAdler[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]fredaj[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]straightasadye[/bold] wrote: Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend.[/p][/quote]You want him to be beaten up? You are no better than the man who killed the cat![/p][/quote]I don't want him beaten up. I want him tortured within an inch of his life, his eyes ripped out, kneecaps smashed, ear perforated and his dinky sliced open. But I will always be a better man than him and YOU Freddy boy.[/p][/quote]Any man is a better at being a man than me as, last time I looked anyway, I wasn't actually a man. Are you one of those odd people who spend their days standing outside of courts just to shout and swear at the vans taking people to and from the prisons? fredaj
  • Score: 0

8:49pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Bored with moaners says...

fredaj wrote:
NathanAdler wrote:
fredaj wrote:
straightasadye wrote: Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend.
You want him to be beaten up? You are no better than the man who killed the cat!
I don't want him beaten up. I want him tortured within an inch of his life, his eyes ripped out, kneecaps smashed, ear perforated and his dinky sliced open.

But I will always be a better man than him and YOU Freddy boy.
Any man is a better at being a man than me as, last time I looked anyway, I wasn't actually a man.

Are you one of those odd people who spend their days standing outside of courts just to shout and swear at the vans taking people to and from the prisons?
I wouldn't have thought he does fredaj, he'll be at home stroking his cat like Blowfelt.
[quote][p][bold]fredaj[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NathanAdler[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]fredaj[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]straightasadye[/bold] wrote: Even hardened criminals rarely condone cruelty to children and animals. Lets hope fellow inmates hand down some "proper" punishent to this fiend.[/p][/quote]You want him to be beaten up? You are no better than the man who killed the cat![/p][/quote]I don't want him beaten up. I want him tortured within an inch of his life, his eyes ripped out, kneecaps smashed, ear perforated and his dinky sliced open. But I will always be a better man than him and YOU Freddy boy.[/p][/quote]Any man is a better at being a man than me as, last time I looked anyway, I wasn't actually a man. Are you one of those odd people who spend their days standing outside of courts just to shout and swear at the vans taking people to and from the prisons?[/p][/quote]I wouldn't have thought he does fredaj, he'll be at home stroking his cat like Blowfelt. Bored with moaners
  • Score: -4

9:04pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Nobleox says...

You don't say BORED WITH MOANERS - a cat no less. Rhymes with PRAT.
You don't say BORED WITH MOANERS - a cat no less. Rhymes with PRAT. Nobleox
  • Score: 1

12:54am Sat 26 Jul 14

From beer to uncertainty says...

Glad to see a custodial sentence for a wretched crime. Sadly, hypocrisy is in fine supply...pigs and dolphins are generally considered as more intelligent than cats or dogs...with pigs so genetically similar to humans that we use their insulin to keep some diabetics alive.
Come on guys...don't eat animals that can probably share a joke and laugh with you.
Glad to see a custodial sentence for a wretched crime. Sadly, hypocrisy is in fine supply...pigs and dolphins are generally considered as more intelligent than cats or dogs...with pigs so genetically similar to humans that we use their insulin to keep some diabetics alive. Come on guys...don't eat animals that can probably share a joke and laugh with you. From beer to uncertainty
  • Score: 6

9:39am Sat 26 Jul 14

Juleyanne says...

Board with moaners is actually doing a fair bit of moaning him or herself.
You are exactly the reason I love animals so much you sad g.t.
Board with moaners is actually doing a fair bit of moaning him or herself. You are exactly the reason I love animals so much you sad g.t. Juleyanne
  • Score: 7

6:24pm Sun 27 Jul 14

Gary L. Francione says...

The killing of Furbie provides an opportunity to reflect on our general moral attitudes about animals. We all rightly get upset when we read a story like this that involves the unnecessary and gratuitous killing or suffering of a nonhuman animal.

But most us take part in exactly that every day when we consume meat, dairy, eggs, and other animal products. We certainly don't need to eat animal foods for optimal health. Indeed, no medical authorities dispute that a vegan diet may be as healthy, and perhaps more healthy, than a diet that includes animal protein. We eat animal foods because we like the taste, or because it's convenient, or because it is simply a habit.

We may not do the killing ourselves; we pay someone else to do it. There is certainly a psychological difference between those who kill and those who pay others to do the killing and buy animal products at the store. But there is no moral difference.

There is an irony here in that the RSPCA prosecuted Stefaniak and "RSPCA inspector Andrew Kirby said he hoped the jail sentence 'sends out the message that treating an animal like this won’t be tolerated'." But the RSPCA promotes Freedom Food and anyone who knows anything about the raising and slaughter of animals for food knows that, although Furbie certainly had a terrible death, it was no worse than any of the animals who bear the Freedom Food label.

If you regard animals as having moral value, then going vegan is really the only thing that makes any rational sense.

Here is a brief essay I wrote about the similar case of Mary Bale in the U.K. and Michael Vick in the U.S.

Thank you for considering my views.

Gary L. Francione
Professor, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
The killing of Furbie provides an opportunity to reflect on our general moral attitudes about animals. We all rightly get upset when we read a story like this that involves the unnecessary and gratuitous killing or suffering of a nonhuman animal. But most us take part in exactly that every day when we consume meat, dairy, eggs, and other animal products. We certainly don't need to eat animal foods for optimal health. Indeed, no medical authorities dispute that a vegan diet may be as healthy, and perhaps more healthy, than a diet that includes animal protein. We eat animal foods because we like the taste, or because it's convenient, or because it is simply a habit. We may not do the killing ourselves; we pay someone else to do it. There is certainly a psychological difference between those who kill and those who pay others to do the killing and buy animal products at the store. But there is no moral difference. There is an irony here in that the RSPCA prosecuted Stefaniak and "RSPCA inspector Andrew Kirby said he hoped the jail sentence 'sends out the message that treating an animal like this won’t be tolerated'." But the RSPCA promotes Freedom Food and anyone who knows anything about the raising and slaughter of animals for food knows that, although Furbie certainly had a terrible death, it was no worse than any of the animals who bear the Freedom Food label. If you regard animals as having moral value, then going vegan is really the only thing that makes any rational sense. Here is a brief essay I wrote about the similar case of Mary Bale in the U.K. and Michael Vick in the U.S. Thank you for considering my views. Gary L. Francione Professor, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA Gary L. Francione
  • Score: 7

7:29pm Sun 27 Jul 14

Kate FitzGibbon says...

Everyone who is not vegan is responsible for the same level of animal abuse towards the 57 billion animals and the trillion sea animals slaughtered every year for palate pleasure alone. There is zero reason not to be vegan. Treating animals like this should not be tolerated.
Everyone who is not vegan is responsible for the same level of animal abuse towards the 57 billion animals and the trillion sea animals slaughtered every year for palate pleasure alone. There is zero reason not to be vegan. Treating animals like this should not be tolerated. Kate FitzGibbon
  • Score: 3

3:01pm Tue 29 Jul 14

happybrightonvegan says...

how can anyone be upset about the killing of one animal while they pay someone to kill another? Buying meat, dairy and eggs is effectively engaging in animal exploitation, suffering and animal killing.
how can anyone be upset about the killing of one animal while they pay someone to kill another? Buying meat, dairy and eggs is effectively engaging in animal exploitation, suffering and animal killing. happybrightonvegan
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree