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CONVICTED: Was justice served?
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When you vote, you are voting on whether or not the punishment fit the crime, NOT on the severity of the case itself. If you feel the sentence was very weak, you would vote 1 star. If you feel the sentence was very strong, you would vote 5 stars.
Please vote honestly and realistically. These ratings will be used a a tool for many future programs, including a "Peoples Choice" of best and worst sentencing, DA and judge "report cards", and more. Try to resist the temptation to vote 1 star on every case, even if you feel that 100 years in prison isnt enough.
Saturday, Jan 31, 2004
Defendant/Suspect: Joseph Rewha
Case Updates: 2 update(s) available
Joseph Rewha, 52, beneficiary and part-time fisherman of Rawhiti, entered no plea in the Kaikohe District Court yesterday on three Animal Welfare Act charges.
The charges were laid by the Bay Of Islands SPCA after the dog was brought to them in February with horrific injuries and scarring.
The dog was left tied to a tree before being found by witnesses and taken to the SPCA for treatment. Charges have been adjourned until Nov 24.
|A nine-month jail term imposed on a Northland man for wilfully ill-treating a dog is the longest prison term handed down under animal welfare legislation in New Zealand, says the Bay of Islands SPCA. |
Joseph Rewha, a 52-year-old beneficiary of Rawhiti, in the Bay of Islands, appeared for sentence in the Kaikohe District Court yesterday.
In addition to the jail term, Judge Russell Johnson disqualified Rewha from owning or controlling animals for seven years.
He had earlier admitted a charge, laid under the Animal Welfare Act, of wilfully ill-treating a male black-and-tan cross-breed dog known as Tipa by tying the animal to the towbar of his vehicle by its neck and dragging him along a rural road for 800m at speeds of up to 80km/h on February 5 at Rawhiti last year.
Rewha then tied the dog to a tree and drove off.
Witnesses found Tipa with injuries the SPCA described as horrific. He was then taken to a veterinary clinic.
After several weeks' treatment for deep abrasions, shoulder and muscle wounds, skin loss, exposed and severed tendons, swelling and infection, Tipa recovered, although he is likely to develop arthritis in his injured joints.
The court was told at an earlier hearing that the vet looking after Tipa said the dog must have suffered horribly.
In Kaikohe Court yesterday, Judge Johnson said animals were particularly vulnerable creatures.
He said Rewha's actions clearly showed he had set out to torture the dog, which had done nothing more than obey his instincts to escape after he was tied up for several days while his owner was on a drinking binge.
"Being a sad alcoholic is no excuse," he said.
SPCA prosecutor Jim Boyd said the case was one of deliberate, sadistic and prolonged cruelty, calculated to cause the dog maximum terror and pain.
The sentence should denounce Rewha's actions and that denunciation must provide a clear and emphatic deterrent to others, Mr Boyd submitted.
After the sentencing, Mr Boyd said it was hard to imagine a more deliberate act of torture to an animal.
He was pleased with the sentence and hoped it would serve to deter others who would cause cruelty to animals. As well as the jail term and disqualification, Rewha was ordered to attend alcohol and drug abuse counselling.
After recovering in the Bay of Islands last year, Tipa was found a new home by the SPCA with a Blockhouse Bay, Auckland, family where he remains.
|Source: NZ Herald - March 23, 2005|
Update posted on Mar 22, 2005 - 3:33PM
|The dog, named Tipa, made a full recovery and now has a permanent home in Auckland with a Blockhouse Bay family. |
SPCA Bay of Islands inspector and prosecutor Jim Boyd said yesterday Tipa had been doing so well at dog obedience classes at his new home that he was now being used as a role model for other dogs in the classes.
|Source: New Zealand Herald-Nov 3,2004|
Update posted on Nov 10, 2004 - 6:11PM