A man who killed his partner’s pets in a fit of spite has been sent to jail for twelve months.
Magistrate Michael Holmes told Benjamin Wright that he had to send a message to the community that “the “death of animals cannot be of such a gruesome nature”.
On March 22 last year, Wright who was a qualified slaughterman had killed his partner’s three dogs and a cat with such brutality that the cat’s tail became dislodged from its spine when it was bashed against a car.
Mr Holmes said the sentence of twelve months for aggravated cruelty had been reduced by a quarter because of Wright’s guilty pleas.
“I have no other option but to send you to jail”, said the magistrate. He said it was a ”horrible event and the actions were of a deliberate nature”.
The court heard earlier that he had told the police that he was a qualified slaughterman and had dispatched the animals humanely because they were ill.
But the court heard that a vet who had examined the carcasses found no ailments, and thought they had died in great pain.
According to the court, his partner said that Wright had been sharpening his knife a week before killing the animals.
The two plus his daughter were living in a caravan in the bush and, the court heard, he was under severe financial and emotional pressure.
He had been prone to angry outbursts in the past.
Prosecutor Cheryl Hall had told the court that there was “an element of planning”. The animals “weren’t killed humanely. They did suffer horrific and tremendous terror”.
At an earlier hearing, Wright’s now ex-partner was in court but, according to her friends, left because she was too upset.
Mr Holmes had spent time considering whether instructing Wright to have treatment for mental health issues was more appropriate than prison but he decided that the message had to be sent to the public that such cruelty had to be punished.