24 October 2023

Three men who admitted committing animal cruelty fined $2000 each when sentenced in Bega

| Albert McKnight
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Three men have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges in the Bega Local Court. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Three men who admitted committing animal cruelty have each been fined $2000 and ordered by a Bega court to perform more than 100 hours of community service.

The trio – 18-year-old Will Cody Smith, 20-year-old Travis Dusan Nemec and 22-year-old Lachlan Westaway – had originally been accused of assaulting a kangaroo in an alleged incident from July 2023.

Nemec, who is from Eden, and Westaway, from Wolumla, both pleaded guilty to a charge of committing an act of cruelty on an animal on the first occasion they appeared in court.

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Smith, a Greigs Flat resident, also pleaded guilty to a charge of committing an act of cruelty on an animal, in addition to a charge of destroying or damaging property, in late September.

All of their matters were adjourned for sentencing in the Bega Local Court on Tuesday (24 October), where Magistrate Doug Dick convicted them of the animal cruelty charges, fined each of them $2000 and handed them 12-month community correction orders.

As part of their orders, they must each perform 150 hours of community service work.

Smith was also convicted of his damaging property charge, fined $800 and ordered to pay $1260 in compensation to the Merimbula Laundromat.

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Originally, NSW Police alleged three people had grabbed and repeatedly assaulted a kangaroo in Main Street, Merimbula, around 9 am on 22 July, 2023.

The kangaroo managed to flee after the alleged assault.

It is also alleged that a person kicked the glass door of a laundromat in Market Street a short time later.

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These fines are totally inadequate. The Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) s530 allows consequences of imprisonment for 5 years for ”intentionally inflicting severe pain” and 3 years for ”being reckless” as to pain, PLUS a criminal record. Why does the RSPCA refuse to charge alleged offenders under this legislation?

What is wrong with these people? I just can’t understand how they could harm these defenseless animals.

patricia gardiner11:29 am 25 Oct 23

It’s a shame stocks are no longer in use.

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