Two 16-year-old boys have been sentenced after admitting throwing a cat into the Manchester Ship Canal in Runcorn.
The incident occurred near to The Decks in the early hours of Wednesday 11 April.
A video of the incident was posted on social media and caused uproar among the local community.
The offenders, who are both from Runcorn but cannot be named for legal reasons, were subsequently arrested and pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Warrington Youth Court on Wednesday 2 May.
The teenager who threw Ben the cat into the canal also admitted breaching a criminal behaviour order.
He was handed a 12-month youth rehabilitation order with a supervision requirement, as well as a 12-month youth referral order.
The other boy, who filmed the incident, was given a nine-month youth referral order.
Both boys were banned from keeping domestic cats for 10 years and were ordered to pay £100 compensation, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
Handing down the sentences for ‘appalling behaviour that caused the cat distress and anxiety to his owners’, the judge told the teenager he would have given him a custodial sentence had he been of age.
Sarah Heath, a Cheshire Police Chief Inspector at Runcorn Police Station, said: “This was a despicable act against a defenceless animal that had a huge impact among the community. Those who saw the video on social media were understandably outraged.
“Thankfully Ben the cat survived the incident but his owners were very distressed by what happened to him.
“We carried out a full and thorough investigation into the incident and the hard work of officers involved in this case has ensured that the two offenders now have to face the consequences of their actions.”