A 33-year-old man from the central Athens neighborhood of Votanikos was convicted for torturing and killing animals, which is the first time a defendant in Greece has been sent to prison on such a conviction.

According to reports by Mega TV, the man was caught on CCTV footage abusing and killing a cat in the narrow streets of Votanikos, a predominately industrial and logistics district, in February 2023.

He was sentenced to eight years without parole, to be served at the maximum-security near-Athens penitentiary of Korydallos. He was also imposed a fine of 20,000 euros.

Images broadcast by Mega TV show a gruesome incident, whereby a suspect walks towards the bottom floor of an apartment building and disappears behind a wall for around 20 seconds. The sounds of banging and the cries of a cat can be heard, waking up residents of the apartment building.  The suspect is then be seen walking away from the building holding a lifeless cat.

The police were called and the man was arrested, while officers found five additional dead cats upon searching his residence.

During an initial interrogation the man denied involvement, but later amended his statement and said, “Nothing big happened – I was just having a conversation with the cat.”

The punishment marks the first time incarceration was handed down without parole or a suspended sentence for convictions of torturing and killing animals, but the second instance of a felony conviction handed down to a defendant for killing an animal. The first instance was Babis Anagnostopoulos, who killed his wife in 2021 and then hung their dog in an effort to divert police into thinking robbers were responsible for the crime.