It is common in areas of India for cows, considered by Hindus to be a sacred animal, to stroll the streets freely. Some are known to regularly wander into shops. But finding a cow chomping away at the bakery goods in his shop was a step too far for one New Delhi baker, who ended the bovine’s carefree munching by stabbing it to death.

Naseem Khan, 25, was found guilty of inflicting three stab wounds on a pregnant cow. "It is held that the prosecution has succeeded to prove its case against the accused beyond the shadow of reasonable doubt and that he gave blows to the cow, which caused her death," a magistrate is quoted as saying in The Times of India. The giveaway, presumably, was finding the stabbed cow on the floor of the bakery - not something one could easily conceal under the carpet.

The court found Khan guilty under the law of "mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless any elephant, camel or horse", which on the face of it looks a harsh judgement, unless the cow was masquerading as an elephant, camel or horse. The outcome of an autopsy on the cow was enough for the court to send Khan down for a year-long stretch. Maybe he could have got away with it had he quickly thought on his feet and said it was a Damien Hirst art installation.