Cat abuser Lance Burgess sentenced

Lance Burgess, 24, shields his face from photographers outside the Cornwall, Ont. courthouse April 15, 2015 after pleading guilty to animal cruelty and break and enter charges. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A Cornwall cat abuser has been sentenced to nine months in jail for nearly killing a calico cat and abandoning another outside the Brookdale Arms apartment complex in January.

Lance Burgess, 24, pleaded guilty yesterday (Thursday) to three animal-cruelty related charges and an additional, unrelated, break-and-enter charge.

Judge Franco Giamberardino sentenced Burgess to six months on the animal cruelty charges and an additional three months for the B&E at a St. Felix Street home, where a gaming system was stolen.

“Mr. Burgess, in my view, has demonstrated a degree of remorse. He’s brought a crushing degree of notoriety upon himself. He’s lost his job. It’s certainly my view that everything that’s happened here will have considerable deterrent value,” Giamberardino ruled.

Based on the charges, Burgess could have faced up to 18 months behind bars.

The judge also had a message for the public. “I hope that others take note of how cruelty to animals is dealt with in the criminal courts,” he said.

Burgess started to cry, wiping his eyes, as the judge laid out of the conditions of his sentence and his 18 months of probation.

Burgess won’t be able to own, be in the care of, or live with an animal for five years following his release. He also has to make restitution of $1,535.89 to the OSPCA for the veterinary care for the abused cats.

Defence lawyer Gaye Leroux also requested Giamberardino allow his client to enter a substance abuse treatment program, which was granted.

As part of the conditions on the conviction for break-and-enter, Burgess will have to submit a DNA sample and will be prohibited from owning weapons for 10 years.

Burgess was nearly 20 minutes late arriving to court for sentencing due to family arrangements, according to his lawyer.

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