Possessive boyfriend shot girlfriend's cat with crossbow and dumped body in bin outside her home

A man killed his girlfriend's cat with a crossbow during a violent, abusive and controlling relationship.

Stephen Gill shot the animal through the stomach and neck before dumping it in a bin outside the woman's home.

Stephen Gill shot and killed his girlfriend's cat.

Stephen Gill shot and killed his girlfriend's cat.

Gill, of Bevan Avenue, Wakefield, was locked up for 31 months for subjecting the woman to four years of trauma which robbed her of her self esteem.

During the twisted relationship Gill forced her to wear a onesie in bed and sleep beside him with her hands on top of the duvet.

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Gill also took control of the victim's finances so he could spend money on spice and other drugs. He stopped the woman from seeing friends and denied her access to Facebook and social media.

Gill tried to force the victim into changing the tenancy details on her home in Bramley, Leeds, so he could also live there.

The 36-year-old also threatened to burn her house down.

Alisha Kaye, prosecuting, said the woman took Gill's threats seriously because he has convictions for arson.

Miss Kaye said: "If affected her self-esteem and some mornings she could not get up.

"She was diagnosed with depression and stayed with him because she felt no one else would have her."

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The prosecutor said the victim had a pet cat which she was very fond of.

She said: "The defendant took it outside and the complainant heard a yelp from it.

"He came back in and said it was now dead."

The woman found the animal dead in a neighbour's bin.

Miss Kaye added: "He said he killed the cat with a crossbow by shooting it to the stomach and then to the throat."

The court also heard Gill would not allow the woman to get a job and and threatened to "dismantle" her face if she did not do as she was told.

The woman contacted police in July this year after Gill assaulted her.

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Gill was found guilty of engaging in a controlling or coercive relationship after a trial before magistrates.

He refused to attend his trial and was arrested after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Gill has previous convictions for robbery and arson.

Ian Hudson, mitigating, said Gill accepted that he must face a lengthy sentence. He added that Gill accepted that the relationship with the woman was over.

Judge Robin Mairs said: "In a particularly cruel act you killed her cat with a crossbow and expressed some joy at having done so.

"You caused as much emotional pain as you could."