Details of how a man killed a kitten then placed its remains on his former girlfriend's bed caused an audible gasp in the Nelson District Court.
Abraham Zacharia McIvor's angry rampage on the night of January 10 ended with him stomping on the head of the seven-week old kitten, beside which he placed a note warning his former girlfriend she was next, the court heard.
McIvor, a 25 year-old labourer, admitted yesterday wilfully ill-treating a kitten causing it to die, intimidating and assaulting his former partner and a charge of wilful damage. He was remanded in custody for sentencing on March 4.
Sergeant Graeme Eden said McIvor and the victim had been in a relationship for about a year before it ended in December 2012 but they remained in contact.
On the evening of January 10, McIvor was drinking with friends in Nelson when he contacted his former partner and asked her to pick him up and take him to Stoke, which she did then went home.
McIvor continued drinking with friends in Stoke, and by about 10pm an associate called the woman and asked if she could collect him from the address because he was starting to cause trouble.
The woman got her three year-old daughter out of bed and drove to Stoke to collect McIvor. A friend who had been drinking with him decided to go with them to ensure she was safe, given McIvor's "aggressive behaviour", Eden said.
She drove McIvor to his home, and the friend then took a taxi back to his home but after he left McIvor refused to get out of the woman's car. He started "yelling and screaming" at the woman and threatened to hit her with a glass bottle, which caused the woman's young daughter to start screaming.
The woman then sent a text message to the friend who had just left to tell him what had happened. McIvor got out of the car and kicked it before pushing the woman around. The friend then arrived back at the address and McIvor started throwing bottles at the house then went inside. The friend confronted him and the two men exchanged blows, Eden said.
The friend went outside to check the woman had left the address, but she was waiting outside. McIvor then threatened to kill her and her daughter by "burning their house down while they were in it", Eden said.
The woman left and went home but just after midnight McIvor sent her a number of threatening text messages, including one that said he was coming to her house. The woman feared for her safety so packed some clothes, woke her daughter and fled, Eden said.
He said McIvor arrived at the woman's home and broke in through a window. He then poured water into the back of a television and on to a laptop computer, causing irreparable damage.
McIvor also threw food around the house, then killed the woman's kitten before carrying it to her bedroom and placing it on her bed with a note that said, "don't end here, you're next", Eden said.
McIvor wrote another note he left in the kitchen, asking the woman to go and check her bedroom. He then went to sleep on the couch.
Eden said McIvor told police that after he was punched by the friend he had blacked out and did not remember what had happened until he woke at the woman's home the next morning.
The animal cruelty charge, which was considered the most serious of McIvor's offending that night, carries a maximum three years in prison and a fine of $50,000.
Judge Ian Mill convicted and remanded McIvor in custody for sentencing and a pre-sentence report to include assessment for electronic monitoring, but noted that was "no indication that sentence was appropriate in this case".