A FORMER parliamentary candidate from Kidderminster was locked up for bludgeoning the family cat to death with a walking stick in a fit of rage.

Michael Dixon was sentenced to four months in prison with a lifetime ban on keeping animals, after he lost his temper and battered the pet, leaving her to die in a pool of blood, before calmly telling his family: “I’ve killed the cat.”

The horrific attack happened at the former LibDem candidate's home in Warbler Place on May 14 last year, after five-year-old Tipsy scratched his grandson.

The 53-year-old who was once a member of the LibDem Police and Crime Working Group was with family including his wife Pam Dixon, their daughter-in-law Sally Dixon and her four-year-old son.

Nick Sutton, prosecuting for the RSPCA, read a witness account from Sally Dixon at Kidderminster Magistrates Court. It described how Mr Dixon chased the pet upstairs shouting “I’m going to kill the cat.”

Sally said: “I noticed he had a walking stick in his hand. I thought it was to coax the cat out.”

Her mother-in-law followed screaming “No Mike no” at the top of her voice.

They heard banging before Mr Dixon returned to the lounge, looking calm and spaced out and said in a matter-of-fact way: “I’ve killed the cat.”

His wife ran upstairs and became hysterical. Sally said: “I heard screaming like I have never heard before and I knew it must be true.”

The women found the black and white cat lying on her side in a pool of blood, still moving, with the walking stick leaning against the wall. After struggling for her last breath Tipsy died.

Vet Darren Jennings who examined Tipsy found her skull shattered into 10 pieces, with 20ml of blood in her stomach.

He said: “There is no doubt this cat suffered serious pain and distress from the attack. Death was not instantaneous.”

Mr Sutton said the scratch on the boy’s leg was consistent with a cat in play and did not even require a plaster.

Defence solicitor Fergus Maxwell described Mr Dixon as a professional, family man of exemplary character who had a history of community activity including campaigning against the closure of Kidderminster Hospital.

He said his client used the walking stick so that “he would be able to dispatch the cat very quickly. His intention was not to cause this cat unnecessary and protracted suffering.”

When sentencing, magistrates chairman Brian McCluskie said: “Mr Dixon this was a prolonged and awful attack on an animal - the result of your inability to keep your temper that resulted in the family pet being blugeoned to death. The pet did not die quickly. You caused a death too horrific to contemplate.”

Mr Dixon hung his head as he heard his conviction before he was handcuffed and led away.

RSPCA inspector Steve Morall who worked on the case said: “This was a callous, brutal attack and we are pleased that the court has sent a clear message to Mr Dixon.”

Mr Sutton said: “The decision to bring Mr Dixon before the court was based not only on his admission he had killed his family cat but the strength of independent and veterinary evidence of the suffering this act of cruelty caused.”