A MAN claimed he had punched a former friend because he had thrown his pet cat into a compound where it was ripped apart by two guard dogs.

Blackburn magistrates heard the incident with the cat was alleged to have happened while Carl Lewis was being treated in a psychiatric hospital.

Lewis, 33, of St Peter Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to assaulting John Slater.

He was remanded on bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said Mr Slater walked down the stairs at Jay's Properties on Bolton Road where both men were living.

Lewis was at the bottom of the stairs and, without warning, punched him in the face.

As he was punched Mr Slater heard Lewis say: "You killed my cat."

John Didsbury, defending, said his client became ill in December and ended up in a psychiatric hospital for two weeks.

"He had a pet cat and when he came out he was told it had disappeared," said Mr Didsbury.

"He didn't believe that and his suspicions were confirmed when another resident at Jay's Properties told him another resident was responsible for the cat's death.

"He was told his pet met a gruesome end after being thrown into a compound where it was savaged by guard dogs."

Mr Didsbury said his client accepted that, against that background, he had punched the other man once.