A teenage boy who stabbed a hedgehog more than 130 times and tortured it to death may avoid being sent to prison.
The "mutilated" creature was kicked and a stick was used to stab and "hit it like a golf ball" more than 130 times, Dublin Children's Court heard.
The incident, which lasted for 35-minutes, happened on the grounds of a north Dublin school in September 2019, when the boy was aged just 13.
Following the attack, the boy ran off laughing and showed no remorse.
The teenager, now aged 14, plead guilty to animal cruelty offences, including the charge of injuring a protected wild animal, and causing or permitting unnecessary suffering endangering the health and welfare of an animal, the Irish Independent reports.
The boy, who cannot be named due to his age, agreed to take part in a restorative justice programme aimed at first-time offenders.
He appeared before Judge Treasa Kelly who had asked for a probation report to be prepared.
The case has been adjourned until a later date in December, so that an action plan of restorative justice activities can be drafted.
While the defence team have also asked for a forensic psychologist to carry out a report on the teenager.
Judge Kelly said that the incident gave the court cause for concern.
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