AUSTRALIA – A pet killer has avoided a conviction having shot his neighbor’s cat ‘to protect wildlife’
An Adelaide Hills man who shot and killed his neighbor’s cat, whose name was Spock, has been fined $2,000 but spared an animal cruelty conviction.
Kent Wilson, who 63, admitted shooting the black oriental domestic cat at Ashton way back in February 2014.
In sentencing, magistrate Paul Foley accepted Wilson genuinely believed the cat was a threat to wildlife.
Spock’s owner Kristin Gore admitted she was disappointed a conviction was not recorded.
“Does that send a message to the public now that anyone can use the defence I’m protecting native wildlife?” she stated.
“I’m only going to get a fine, and I can shoot any animal that comes onto my property.”
The court heard another of Spock’s owners, whose name is Mia Shepherdson, who was 19 at the time the pet was killed, confronted Wilson about her missing cat.
“I was very upset and we’d been calling for days trying to find him so I decided I had to go and ask,” she stated.
“I asked him about if he had seen it and he admitted that he shot and buried him on our behalf.”
The prosecution urged that for the sentencing, a general deterrence be considered.
However, Magistrate Foley explained that Wilson was not the typical offender and noted he had no prior convictions.
“I do not propose recording a conviction,” he stated.
His lawyer, whose name is Paul D’Angelo, explained Wilson was a Country Fire Service volunteer and was genuinely motivated by his love of animals.
“He’s not your Joe Blow sitting on his roof shooting his neighbour’s cat,” he explained.
“When confronted by his neighbour he was completely honest.
“Had he not done that, he would not be here today.
“You can be assured he’s learnt a lesson from these circumstances.”
The maximum penalty for the crime could have been a $50,000 fine and four years’ imprisonment.
Clearly, justice did not prevail here.