Gardener drowned neighbour’s cat because it kept digging up carrots and leeks

A gardener who drowned his neighbour’s cat because it kept digging up carrots and leeks from his vegetable plot is facing jail. 

Richard Giles grabbed hold of tabby cat Ruby after she repeatedly made her way into his garden.

The 69-year-old, who said the cat was ‘ruining’ his crops then callously drowned her in water.

Ruby’s owner, Shirley Gear-Evans, spent two days looking for her pet before she confronted Giles, and claims he has never apologised for killing her beloved pet. 

He has admitted to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, but claims he was ‘driven to it,’ after Ruby kept coming onto his property. 

Richard Giles, 69, drowned his neighbour's cat after catching the tabby 'ruining' his garden vegetable patch in the village of Adber, near Sherborne in Dorset

Richard Giles, 69, drowned his neighbour's cat after catching the tabby 'ruining' his garden vegetable patch in the village of Adber, near Sherborne in Dorset

Richard Giles, 69, drowned his neighbour’s cat after catching the tabby ‘ruining’ his garden vegetable patch in the village of Adber, near Sherborne in Dorset

Ms Gear-Evans, 65, said her neighbour freely admitted to killing Ruby and showed no remorse or offer an apology.

Giles’ callous act has sparked outrage in the tiny hamlet of Adber, near Sherborne. 

Villagers are said to be ‘sickened’ by it, with others calling him a ‘disturbed b*****d.’

The animal rights group PETA urged magistrates to throw the book at him when he returns next month to be sentenced for causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Ms Gear-Evans, who used to work for the NHS, moved to Adber in May 2019 and took in rescue cat Ruby a month later to keep her company.

She said: ‘Ruby was a rescue cat and after I got her I kept her in the house for a few weeks so she could get used to her new home but soon she was outside exploring the fields around the house.

Ruby's owner, Shirley Gear-Evans, said she searched for her cat for two days before she confronted her neighbour, who has never apologised for drowning the pet

Ruby's owner, Shirley Gear-Evans, said she searched for her cat for two days before she confronted her neighbour, who has never apologised for drowning the pet

Ruby’s owner, Shirley Gear-Evans, said she searched for her cat for two days before she confronted her neighbour, who has never apologised for drowning the pet

Giles, pictured leaving Weymouth Magistrates' Court, admitted to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protect animal. He will next appear in court on April 6

Giles, pictured leaving Weymouth Magistrates' Court, admitted to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protect animal. He will next appear in court on April 6

Giles, pictured leaving Weymouth Magistrates’ Court, admitted to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protect animal. He will next appear in court on April 6

‘Richard had introduced himself and at first we got along, but as soon as I said I was getting a cat he went mad.

‘He was very unpleasant when I told him I had adopted a cat, suggesting that I ought to know that he didn’t like cats.

‘Our relationship quickly soured after that and he called me several times complaining about Ruby.

‘When Ruby didn’t return home on Saturday September 19 I searched the velds around the village but didn’t find her. I was worried she might have gone into one of Richard’s outbuildings and become trapped or hurt.

‘When I saw him on the Monday morning I asked if he had seen Ruby. He said ‘you won’t find her, she’s gone, I’ve killed her.’

Ruby was drowned in the grounds of Adber Court, near Sherborne in Dorset. Villagers have been left shocked by the death, with one branding Giles a 'disturbed b******'

Ruby was drowned in the grounds of Adber Court, near Sherborne in Dorset. Villagers have been left shocked by the death, with one branding Giles a 'disturbed b******'

Ruby was drowned in the grounds of Adber Court, near Sherborne in Dorset. Villagers have been left shocked by the death, with one branding Giles a ‘disturbed b******’

‘He showed no remorse and I was later told he had drowned her in a water butt on his on property.

‘He has never apologised. I never saw Ruby again, I have no idea what he did with her body.

‘He has told neighbours he did it to protect local wildlife, he was saying Ruby was killing the birds but I really think he just didn’t like my cat.

Giles is said to have turned 'unpleasant,' when his neighbour told him she had got a new pet

Giles is said to have turned 'unpleasant,' when his neighbour told him she had got a new pet

Giles is said to have turned ‘unpleasant,’ when his neighbour told him she had got a new pet

Giles told Weymouth Magistrates Court 'I work hard,' as he admitted to catching drowning his neighbour's cat

Giles told Weymouth Magistrates Court 'I work hard,' as he admitted to catching drowning his neighbour's cat

Giles told Weymouth Magistrates Court ‘I work hard,’ as he admitted to catching drowning his neighbour’s cat

‘Ruby was my only companion throughout lockdown and now she’s gone and I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting another pet in case he killed that one too.’ 

The RSPCA was told about the matter and investigated Giles who was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Giles, from the village of Adber, near Sherborne, Dorset, admitted the offence and said he was driven to it.

He told Weymouth Magistrates Court: ‘I said from get go I was guilty of killing the cat. I did it because I was driven to it.

‘The cat kept coming on my property and ruining my fruit and vegetables. I work hard.’

Matthew Knight, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the court: ‘He drowned his neighbour’s cat.

‘Because the offence was so serious I recommend a starting option of custody.’

Giles, who spent 20 years working for rope makers Bridport Gundry, had his sentencing adjourned for reports.

He will next appear at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court for a pre-sentencing report on April 6.

The case bears similarities to the Beatrix Potter story of Peter Rabbit and the character Mr McGregor, who tried to catch and kill the rabbits ruining his allotment.

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