Teenage boys set a pet rabbit on fire after 'hammer throwing' it

Two teenagers who tortured a pet rabbit and set it on fire before dumping it on a roadside have been spared jail.

The boys, who have been disqualified from owning animals for two years, stuffed the pet inside a backpack and threw it twice at the ground in a 'hammer throw'.

They also chased the defenceless animal round the garden with a baseball bat while equipped with a large kitchen knife, a skewer and firelighters.

The RSPCA recovered this knife after the charred remains of family pet were found

The RSPCA recovered this knife after the charred remains of family pet were found

The remains of the rabbit were examined by a vet who said it had extensive charring of the skin and fur, both ears were missing and the left hind limb was fractured and the lower part was missing 

The remains of the rabbit were examined by a vet who said it had extensive charring of the skin and fur, both ears were missing and the left hind limb was fractured and the lower part was missing 

Both of its ears and one of its lower legs had been cut off when the corpse was found, Yeovil Youth Court in Somerset heard.

A mother of one of the teenagers found an image of the dead rabbit on his phone - and the other uploaded a picture of the animal on fire to .

The teenagers, who were 16 at the time of the offence, both blamed each other for instigating the prolonged killing.

Mathew Knight, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said one of the defendants was seen chasing the rabbit around a garden while holding a baseball bat and shouting that he was going to kill it.

Magistrates at the court told the first defendant that it had been a 'very serious offence' but said he had made very good progress since the incident and had admitted his guilt

Magistrates at the court told the first defendant that it had been a 'very serious offence' but said he had made very good progress since the incident and had admitted his guilt

Mr Knight said: 'On July 19 the owner noticed the rabbit was missing from its hutch, and the two defendants later admitted they had killed it.

'The mother of one of the boys confronted them about it and then found a photo on her son's phone of the dead rabbit.

'The burnt rabbit carcass was missing both ears and one leg - and when it was found together with a knife and a skewer the matter was reported to the RSPCA.

'Both boys said it was the other's idea to kill the rabbit and said they had put the pet into a rucksack and took it to a grassy area then threw the bag twice like a hammer throw.

'One of them then kicked the rabbit once to the head to put it out of its misery.'

Mr Knight said that one of the boys said he wanted to video the other one kicking the rabbit - but couldn't get his phone on in time and just took a photo.

Matthew Knight, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA said: 'The burnt rabbit carcass was missing both ears and one leg - and when it was found together with a knife and a skewer the matter was reported to the RSPCA'

Matthew Knight, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA said: 'The burnt rabbit carcass was missing both ears and one leg - and when it was found together with a knife and a skewer the matter was reported to the RSPCA'

Mr Knight added: 'He then changed his profile picture to that of a little burning rabbit icon but said the rabbit was burnt after death and they did not cut off its ears or legs.

'The other boy

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