Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19827
Classification: Vehicular
Animal: other wildlife
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Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012

Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Nigel Franks

A man who ran over a kangaroo and threw away it's still-live joey before dragging the dead adult animal behind his car for almost 12km has escaped an immediate jail sentence and been placed on a community corrections order.

Nigel Franks, 20, pleaded guilty before Wodonga Magistrates' Court this morning to charges of aggravated animal cruelty, dangerous driving, careless driving, public nuisance and driving an unregistered car in relation to the January 11 incident.

Franks was driving a maroon Holden Commodore when he ran over the adult eastern grey kangaroo near Huon Hill outside Wodonga, allegedly earlier telling friends if he saw a kangaroo he would attempt to kill it.

Although a range of charges were withdrawn, documents filed before the court claim Franks stomped on the kangaroo's head after running over it and, despite protestations from others in the car, took a live joey from it's pouch and threw it over his shoulder into an adjacent paddock.

Charges relating to intentionally hitting the kangaroo were withdrawn due to evidentiary factors, but an aggravated animal cruelty charge proceeded in relation to the joey.

Franks later used rope around the adult kangaroo's neck to tie the animal to the rear of his car and joked with friends of an intention to drive to a local McDonald's restaurant.

He drove around the area before heading into Wodonga, dragging the animal a distance estimated at 11.5km, before a passenger cut the rope at a set of pedestrian lights in High St, leaving the kangaroo in the middle of the road.

Magistrate Stella Stuthridge sentenced Franks to six months jail, suspended for 12 months, ordered he complete a 12-month community corrections order, pay a $750 fine and that his licence be cancelled for six months.

In sentencing, Magistrate Stuthridge said she took note of a psychologist's report and the need for Franks to undergo further psychological treatment but said she failed to understand his reasons for the offences.

"The offence is appalling," she said.


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