An ex-soldier and cat lover’s attempt to allegedly storm an animal shelter in combat gear to retrieve a support feline will see him remain behind bars.
An ex-soldier and cat lover’s attempt to allegedly storm an animal shelter in combat gear to retrieve a support feline will see him remain behind bars.

Cat loving soldier allegedly stormed animal shelter

A former soldier and cat lover who allegedly stormed an animal shelter in combat gear to retrieve a support feline will remain behind bars until at least next month after his case was delayed.

Tony Wittmann, 44, allegedly pointed an assault rifle at a Lost Dogs' Home animal ranger and allegedly repeatedly threatened to shoot her if she did not hand over his "support cat" in January.

Appearing briefly before the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Wednesday for a committal case conference, Mr Wittmann's lawyer told the court he had only met his client last week.

Defence lawyer Scott Thomas requested an adjournment until May 27, during which time some "assessments" of Mr Wittmann will be undertaken.

The father-of-three who lives alone with several cats is charged with kidnapping, aggravated burglary and firearm offences.

Cat burglar, Tony Wittmann, 44 denied bail. Supplied
Cat burglar, Tony Wittmann, 44 denied bail. Supplied

Mr Wittmann appeared via video link and could be heard asking prison officers where his dress suit was.

"What do you mean you can't find my suit? My wife dropped it in on Sunday," Mr Wittmann could be heard saying before the magistrate took the bench.

At an earlier bail hearing the court heard Mr Wittmann contacted the Cranbourne shelter on January 11 about his missing cat and later drove to the shelter at 8.30pm that night to allegedly "scope out" where the security cameras were located before returning home to pack an arsenal of guns, his military uniform, a helmet and tactical torches.

A female worker arriving at the carpark told police she was confronted by a man pointing a rifle at her, "like a SWAT team would use in a movie".

The terrified woman was allegedly held at gunpoint and told to count to 100 as Mr Wittmann demanded to know where the cats were kept.

The court on Wednesday heard the prosecution's summary of facts will be disputed.

Mr Wittmann was refused bail in January and will return to court on May 27.

Originally published as Why ex-soldier allegedly stormed animal shelter



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