Case Law

 

Keeping Pets in Strata Schemes

Keeping Pets in Strata Schemes (NSW Young Lawyers, Animal Rights Committee)

 

Holding v Parkin [2012]

Domestic violence against a woman and a child, where the perpetrator also maimed and killed a family pet as ‘punishment’ to the mother.

“Such acts of violence against domesticated pets are invariably likely to occur behind closed doors and are relatively easy to conceal from authorities, although clearly your intention here was to make the death very visible to your partner. Such violence targets a victim that cannot seek help nor, if they happen to survive, communicate what has happened other than by the physical evidence of their injuries. For all these reasons such offences are by their nature, in my view, difficult to detect and prosecute. There needs to be a penalty, in my view, that makes it clear to you and more importantly, to the community, that such violence towards animals will not be tolerated.

“Domesticated animals completely vulnerable to the petty whims and emotional fluctuations of those who are responsible for their care deserve the utmost protection of the law. The punishment that I impose in this case must properly reflect the seriousness of this offence. Denunciation is also an important factor in sentencing for an offence such as this, that is, a penalty that appropriately reflects the community’s legitimate disgust and condemnation for this kind of behaviour. General deterrence demands a punishment that makes it clear to the community at large that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated, the message being this: that if you kill an animal in your care out of anger and spite you can expect a severe penalty.”


 

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