Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 17 October 2017
Parliamentary Record 8
Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Tuesday 17 October 2017 2595 On 12 October 2017, a 17-year-old male allegedly went to the East Point facility, either by himself or with others, presumably in a vehicle, with a crossbow and deliberately, maliciously, at very short range, shot not once, not twice, but three times at the horses located in the facility. Two of the bolts from the crossbow lodged in a much-loved pony, 19-year-old Pearl, and one into Hollywood Hitman. Hollywood Hitman is recovering and the attending vet is confident that there are no pieces of bolt left in the horse. The same cannot be said for Pearl. Pearl was shot at close range, with one bolt going into her thorax, breaking ribs and shattering internal organs. The second arrow did equally as much internal damage. The horse was then left to die a lonely and painful death. When discovered, the vet was called in and the horse was put down. There was no veterinary way the horse could be saved due to the nature and severity of its internal injuries. This 17-year-old, the alleged perpetrator, had in his possession a weapon he is not allowed to have. With an illegal weapon in hand, and evil in his mind, he went to the equestrian centre at East Point to find something to kill, and kill he dida 19-year-old pony who was loved by all who knew her, from her original owners, who live in my electorate, to the countless children she taught to ride and love horses. Mark my words; this latest act of cruelty and shooting of crossbow bolts is not the first time at East Point. I suggest it is not the first time for this low life, whoever he may be. It is beyond contempt. He has undertaken an act of malicious and premeditated cruelty on an animal. What was heor theythinking, as they loaded the bolt, drew it back, aimed and fired? Did they let out a Yippee, got it and then do it again and again? In my view, shooting an old pony is not dissimilar to kicking an 80-year-old woman who has tripped on the footpath. Kicking for some perverted reasonas is shooting a tame pony at point blank range. Perverse, perverted, twisted and not a person we want on our streets. There has been much public commentary on how the nasty, if not evil, perpetrators should be dealt with by the law. While I accept due processes and investigations must be followed by the authorities, I say to government, do not underestimate the anger in the community over this killing and do not underestimate the communitys perceived or real perceptions against youth diversion. It has been suggested, in some quarters as an appropriate type of punishment, or as the sooks in the community would say, reform. Just follow the social media commentary on this matter. Review how many people in the Territory, Australia and worldwide, have commented and come out in support and sympathy for these horses that have been killed and injured. Yes, worldwide. Millions have seen and heard about the loss of Pearl and the damage to Hollywood Hitman. It has gone viral. If the Territory authorities are seen not to be acting on this malicious and premeditative act, collectively we will be seen as not taking appropriate action on animal cruelty and weapon offences seriously. From my understanding, this person is 17 years of age. I have checked the alleged perpetrators Facebook and I am concerned. If a child of 10 years of age can be charged with a criminal offence in the NT, why is it that people are suggesting youth diversion is the best thing for this low life? This act of malicious and cruel harm to horses is a criminal offence and I recommend to the government that the Animal Welfare Act be amended to read, Any person over the age of criminal intent, which is 10 years of age, who commits an act of aggravated cruelty, s hould not be considered for youth diversion. Secondly, I recommend that the Youth Justice Act be amended such that the animal welfare legislation, when used in a case such as this, does not have to apply to the Police Commissioner, or his or her deputy, to bypass youth diversion. This 17-year-old allegedly knew what he was doing and he did not give a damn to either the animals or those who cared for and loved those animals. The blatant disregard for life does not qualify him for a diversion program, in my view and in many peoples views in the community. It concerns me that such a high level of cruelty has been taken so lightly by some in our community. I am also concerned that if this animal killer is given youth diversion by police, no further crimina l or civil offences can be commenced in relation to the initial offence of shooting and killing the horse.