WARNING: Video footage contains upsetting and distressing images

SHOCKING film was played to a court of a man throwing a cat into the air like a rugby ball while his pal filmed it. 

The pair could be heard joking and laughing loudly in the main street during the incident In Wellington Road, Rhyl in July.

Lewis David Brereton, 26, of Bryntirion Avenue, Rhyl, and Joshua Harvey Weir, also 26, of Linden Drive, Prestatyn, both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary cruelty by throwing the cat.

They were given eight-week prison sentences, suspended for six months, banned from keeping animals for three years and must each pay £490 costs.

Court chairman Darren Campbell told Weir at Llandudno court that his decision to pick up a defenceless animal and throw it in the air “for your own enjoyment, is incredulous to us.”

He said animals felt pain and fear and magistrates had watched the video of “appalling behaviour” being filmed and posted on social media.

Tudur Owen, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “One of the men held it in both hands and swung his arms before launching it in the air at 45 degrees. It reached a considerable height, twisting in the air.”

Although the video clip did not show the ginger-and-white cat landing it was believed to have run off though It must have been disorientated. Laughter could be heard and the comments : “Hope you have nine lives” and “You have strong limbs,” said Mr Owen.

Solicitors for both men said they had been drinking and were remorseful.

Graham Parry, for Brereton, said they were “very drunk” but had owned up at once. Brereton found it ”excruciating” to now view the video.

“Fortunately the cat seems to have recovered and ran off.”

Rebecca Boswell, for Weir, said he had lost his job looking after people with autism. He was now to take a training course in London for close protection work and what had happened was completely out of character.

A probation officer said Brereton stated he’d been drinking to block out his feelings because he was “in turmoil” about his sick mother. and what happened had affected Weir’s mental state.

The court chairman said: “You are not going to prison because of your previous good character.”