Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19261
Classification: Theft, Throwing
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Defense(s): Tim Tyler
Judge(s): John Bentley

Friday, Jul 1, 2011

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Jack Black

A pet was "dog-napped" after a dispute between neighbors at Hoppers Crossing, a court has heard.

John Black, 72, pleaded guilty at Werribee Magistrates' Court last December to a charge of animal cruelty, having driven his neighbor's dog 17km in the boot of his car and thrown it in a dam last July.

The dog was not injured.

Wyndham Council prosecutor Basil Stafford told the court the crime followed a bitter, long-running dispute between the neighbors.

Defense lawyer Tim Tyler told the court that Black had a one-off, out-of-character "brain snap" as a result of the dispute, which was over a building on a boundary.

The court heard Black, a pensioner, had no prior convictions and was "ashamed of what he's done".

Magistrate John Bentley told the court the dog was used as "collateral".

He said it was a "very cruel and callus act" of "dog-napping".

He fined Black $500 without conviction and ordered him to pay the council's court costs of almost $1270.

The maximum penalty was $5000.

During a council media conference detailing the case last week, council's animal management team leader Elaine Bugeja said that when the council contacted the dog's owners using details from its microchip, the owners said it had disappeared and mentioned a dispute with their neighbor over a garage.

Ms Bugeja said the owner's description of their neighbor's rare car matched one given by a witness.

There were five of these cars registered in Wyndham and the council ruled out all but Black's, she said.

The owners and their dog have since moved from the area.


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