Kelowna hamster killer handed conditional sentence, not allowed in pet shops – Penticton Western Information


The Kelowna man who tortured and killed three hamsters has been sentenced to an 18-month situation sentence, adopted by three years probation.

Leighton Labute was charged in Might 2020 after social media posts made a yr earlier surfaced of an incident that depicted him torturing hamsters. In June, he pleaded responsible to 1 cost of killing or injuring an animal in a plea deal, that noticed two different costs stayed — one for inflicting pointless ache and struggling to an animal and one other for making or publishing obscene matter.

The 21-year-old appeared in a Kelowna courtroom on Wednesday for sentencing.

READ MORE: Accused Kelowna hamster killer has trial date set for 2021

Shortly after he was charged, an Instagram account with over 7,000 followers, which incorporates Labute’s title within the bio, grew to become public. It largely consisted largely of images of anthropomorphic clay sculptures and dolls depicting gore and rape.

Black Press Media has chosen to not title the account because of the graphic nature of the content material.

A YouTube account beneath Labute’s title comprises comparable content material, in addition to vulgar discussions of his sexual fantasies, some involving intercourse dolls. One video on that account, titled “1 child 3 hamsters” and dated Might 14, 2019, reveals a person with three hamsters he’d lately bought.

These Instagram and YouTube accounts turned investigators onto a Reddit account that additionally belonged to Labute, the place the video in query was posted to a number of boards.

These posts have been in subreddits similar to r/aww, r/animals and r/genius the place disturbing content material is misplaced and never anticipated.

Crown Counsel Maegan Richards says that Labute posted on Twitter concerning the enjoyment he will get in posting this content material and the way it ruins peoples’ days.

Labute was reportedly recognized and linked to the accounts by members of Kelowna Secondary Faculty.

Following the fees towards Labute, protests have been held exterior the Kelowna Court docket Home the place residents claimed they have been elevating consciousness about what the person did and demanded harsh punishment for his crime.

Throughout Wednesday’s proceedings, the Labute household issued a press release with reference to Leighton’s psychological well being, noting he’s severely autistic. Psychiatric stories submitted by docs for sentencing discovered him to have the psychological capability of a 12-year-old and important mental deficit.

The assertion reads as follows:

The Labute household offered this assertion to media:

— Michael Rodriguez (@MichaelRdrguez) August 18, 2021

Defence lawyer Julian Van Der Walle targeted on Labute’s autism spectrum dysfunction (ASD) in addition to his impaired interpersonal abilities, low intelligence, and historical past of bullying as doubtlessly mitigating elements within the sentencing.

Decide Paul Dohm acknowledged the factors introduced up however didn’t decide any of them to be mitigating elements, including that the advised sentence of 18 months conditional and three years probation “utterly match and is an applicable sentence, particularly for this accused.”

The first phrases of his sentence embody not proudly owning pets or visiting pet shops, adhering to a strict 9 a.m. to six p.m. curfew, no entry to the web for any non-approved causes and no deleting web historical past or use of incognito searching.

Whereas Labute selected to stay silent through the trial, he did verbally perceive and adjust to the phrases of his sentencing.

Neither Van Der Walle nor the household have been out there for remark after the sentencing.

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