A "sadist" put her kitten into a wheelie bin then threw a brick at it in an attempt to kill it, a court heard.

A neighbour caught Pamela Mattinson in the appalling act on Alston Street, Great Lever, on March 2 this year.

The neighbour took a video of the woman in his back garden, which showed her picking up a brick and throwing it into the wheelie bin four times.

At Bolton Crown Court this week, prosecutor Edmund Potts set out the circumstances of the shocking scene.

Mr Potts said: "[The neighbour] was at home when he heard a banging.

"He went to the window and he saw Ms Mattinson in his back garden. Ms Mattinson was picking up a brick and throwing it into the wheelie bin."

Mattinson, aged 48 at the time, ran from the scene when she saw her neighbour but returned to the scene afterwards to retrieve her kitten. She threatened to put through his window in the process.

She was arrested as she tried to take the animal to the vet for its injuries, from which it recovered after treatment, and she was charged with an animal cruelty offence and a public order offence.

In mitigation, Colin Buckle said she struggled with her alcoholism and her mental health.

He suggested she was trying to kill the cat "to put it out of its misery" after she injured it by accident while trying to protect it from another cat.

Addressing Judge Nicholas Clarke QC, Mr Buckle said: "This is a one-off. 

"Although it is unpleasant you are sentencing someone who is vulnerable."

Judge Clarke described Mattinson as "sadistic" but he accepted the mitigation, and he acknowledged the prisons are overcrowded as it stands.

He sentenced Mattinson to eight months suspended for two years, as well as 20 days of rehabilitation activities and 180 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Clarke said: "In my role as a judge I have to deal, unfortunately, with a lot of cases where people are cruel or negligent to an animal. In this case, as depicted in the video, you were not cruel nor negligent to an animal. You were trying to kill the cat. 

"The nature of the attack, as depicted in the video, was of a most despicable crime."

Mattinson, of Alston Street, Great Lever, is not allowed to own any animal for 10 years.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email jack.tooth@newsquest.co.uk or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.