A SICK Bradford thug laughed with his friends as he twice swung a cat in the air by its tail, a court heard.

James Gladwin was caught on CCTV drinking and smoking with a man and woman before the "shocking" and "needless" attack, which has been condemned by an animal charity.

The 28-year-old has now been banned from keeping animals for five years.

The footage was filmed on the morning of November 8 last year by a security camera at Bradford Day Shelter, in Edmund Street.

It shows Gladwin befriending the cat, stroking it and even looking to feed it before the two attacks.

Bradford and Keighley Magistrates' Court was yesterday shown the film. In the first incident, Gladwin, of Stuart Court, Manchester Road, Bradford, is clearly seen picking up the cat by the tail. He then throws it up in the air, keeping hold of its tail, before putting it back on the floor.

He laughs with his friends, before immediately picking up the cat again and lassoing it around his head, in a full circle motion, at arm's length.

A minute later the cat ran away and so was not examined by a vet or the RSPCA.

After reviewing the footage, shocked staff at the day shelter contacted the police.

Nigel Monaghan, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: "These are shocking and needless acts with little regard to the suffering of the cat.

"Both times the cat is swung round by its tail. The cat is swung at arm's length twice.

"The defendant was seen befriending the cat for a while before the incidents took place. The group were seen drinking and smoking outside the day shelter.

"After the second incident, the cat is seen running away from the area. The cat is clearly shaken and shocked by what happens to it.

"It was clearly one impulsive act but he should not be looking after animals.

"The incident lasted 20 minutes, when he first saw the cat to when he swung it and then put it down."

A statement from Emma Ellis, of the RSPCA, said: "You would expect there to be some damage to the tissues of the cat's tail. It normally results in neurological tail damage and even life-threatening bladder and bowel dysfunction.

"Because of adrenalin flowing - the 'flight or fight' response - these injuries may not be immediate."

Gladwin, who has no previous convictions for animal cruelty, suffers from learning difficulties, he cannot read or write and receives an employment support allowance.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, namely a black and white domestic cat, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

He was also given a two-month curfew between 7pm and 7am, fitted with an electronic tag and ordered to pay £100 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Ian Hudson, mitigating, said: "The incident lasted 29 seconds. Thankfully it was brief.

"The defendant accepts it was totally frightening for the cat involved. The only reason for this was stupidity.

"The cat was not brought to a vet to be examined but it is right that the animal would have been caused unnecessary suffering after being handled in that way."

Chairman of the bench Anthea Petts told Gladwin: "I have a particular dislike for this kind of offence, to the abuse of an animal for your own amusement."

After the case, the founder of Allerton-based Bradford Cat Rescue, Brenda Satterley, condemned Gladwin's actions.

"It's disgusting. The poor thing must have been in agony. I would have put him in jail and thrown away the key," she said.

"Our centre just can't take anymore animals in. The situation in Bradford is horrendous."