Two men have avoided jail after one of them threw a defenceless cat in the air ‘like a rugby ball’ while the other one filmed it.

Lewis Brereton and Joshua Weir were in court as magistrates in Llandudno were shown a clip of one of them saying: “Hope you have nine lives” and “You have strong limbs.”

The video shows a ginger-and-white cat being thrown, landing and running off.

RSPCA prosecutor Tudur Owen said it must have been left disorientated following the incident in Wellington Road, Rhyl , in July.

Brereton, 26, from Rhyl, and Weir, also age 26, from Prestatyn, both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary cruelty by throwing the cat.

They were given eight-week prison sentences, suspended for six months, banned from keeping animals for three years and must each pay £490 costs.

Tudur Owen, prosecuting for the RSPCA , said: “One of the men held it in both hands and swung his arms before launching it in the air at 45 degrees.

“It reached a considerable height, twisting in the air.”

Court chairman Darren Campbell told Weir his decision to pick up a defenceless animal and throw it in the air “for your own enjoyment, is incredulous to us”.

He said animals felt pain and fear and magistrates had watched the video of the “appalling behaviour” which was later posted on social media.

Solicitors for both men said they had been drinking and were remorseful.

Graham Parry, for Brereton, said they were “very drunk” but had owned up at once.

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Brereton found it ”excruciating” to now view the video, he said.

“Fortunately the cat seems to have recovered and ran off.”

Rebecca Boswell, for Weir, said he had lost his job looking after people with autism.

He was now to take a training course in London for close protection work and what had happened was completely out of character, she said.