Mitigating in this defendant’s favour was his age (77 years), prostate cancer, early plea of guilty and community work with the disabled (Sporting Wheelies), together with no prior criminal record. On the basis of his community work and need for a Blue Card the magistrate ordered that no conviction be recorded.
The comparatives relied upon were:
|Hudson||August 2010||Cruelty offence where a man caused the death of his neighbour’s cat by catching and hanging it in a homemade snare. He took video of the trapping and death. He took a video of the cat being hanged, which included him entering the video and holding up an offensive message (” f#@ you kitty”). The defendant pleaded guilty, and in sentencing him to 2 months imprisonment, with a parole release date after 2 weeks, the Magistrate stated that the defendant’s behaviour was premeditated, cruel, inappropriate and appalling.||2 months imprisonment with parole after 2 weeks. 5 year prohibition order.Appeal to the District Court on 4 March 2011, decision pending.
|Sloane||May 2009||Cruelty offence where a man trapped his neighbour’s cat and then placed the trap and cat in a wheelie bin full of water, drowning the cat. Mitigating circumstances for the defendant were the magistrate accepted the cat was ‘feral’ and the defendant was medically retired on the Disability Pension as a consequence of active military service. Psychiatric reports were provided in support.||$5,000.00 fine|
|Towers-Hammond v Burnett  QDC 282||The appeal was heard by his Honour Judge Britton SC. The respondent had been fined $1,800.00 and a conviction recorded. He had beaten cats with an iron bar, killing 3. The appeal was allowed and the sentence increased to 3 months imprisonment.||3 months imprisonment.|
|R v Kelly  QCA 467||The defendant had beat to death a neighbour’s dog that had annoyed him with a baseball bat. He expressed no remorse and had an extensive criminal history.||Trial – 4 months imprisonment suspended after one month, with an operational period of 5 years and fined $5,000.00. On appeal the fine was reduced by $1,000.00|
Brisbane Barrister – David Cormack