Email back up.
I'm glad that the judge pointed out that there is a link between violence towards animals and violence towards people in the future.
Having said that, I'm not sure whom this sentence helps - not the cats, because David Hooi will be out in a year and the chances of him abusing cats in the future is 'high' and certainly not David Hooi either, who has a mental disorder and needs treatment. I don't see how preventive detention would have helped either even if it could be ordered - what it says is that we as a society don't know what to do with this man, so let's just lock him up.
The psychiatrist's report was very enlightening and he or she recommended that David Hooi be kept in a secure environment - and I think the problem is that we're lacking in these facilities that will help people like David Hooi, or even people like the 'disabled' people mentioned on the front page of Today's Straits Times. I am not suggesting in any way of course that 'disabled' people will run out and commit criminal acts, but as one mother in that report said, one of her sons, Joel, has Aperger's Syndrome that may be miscontrued by members of the opposite sex as being over-friendly. One can see this becoming a problem should there be no one to restrain the child ,who has no idea that his behaviour may be inappropriate.
Another big difference is that the people in the main page article have parents to look after them - and even those parents are in despair should they pass away before their children. Who will look after them and help them should they get into trouble?
What we do need are more mental health professionals and people who are able to counsel and treat people like David Hooi and others in society who may need help (without being criminals). We need facilities and homes to perhaps help to house and allow them to live out their lives and hopefully taught how to live in society. David Hooi's prognosis is seen to be poor in light of his previous convictions - or perhaps his previous convictions could be seen in light of the fact that he didn't get treatment earlier?
Whatever it is, welfare groups would be more than willing to help - but we're NOT mental health professionals. This is not a situation where someone can be taught if you pet the nice kitty, that they'll learn to love it. This is a person whose problems are much more deep-seated than that. And we as a society need to look long and hard about helping people like David Hooi. Prison isn't going to help him (unless he gets counselling and treatment in prison and beyond) and it isn't going to help the cats either.
It also goes to show that someone must have noticed something earlier - if the people who though that his actions were just the hijinks of a child had brought this up, maybe he could have been helped earlier too. People must have known him growing up - he had a troubled upbringing according to newspaper reports, but neighbours, teachers, friends, must have noticed something was wrong. If someone had spoken up earlier, and he had been given treatment earlier, maybe the situation would not have gotten quite so bad.