RSCPCA – Aggravated Animal Cruelty – Fine Without Conviction

Our client’s pet was left in the owner’s vehicle on a 30-degree day. The windows were down and checked on within an hour.

The owners delayed getting back to the car by further hour and, upon their return, animal perished. Lengthy attempts were made to try and revive the animal but to no avail. RSPCA charges of aggravated cruelty (negligence re: leaving animal in car without water on a significantly hot day – temperature rose to 35 degrees C). Charge aggravated on basis of death of animal.

We represented the client at the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court.

By obtaining lengthy personal material and establishing a lack of intention and distinguishing this case from the ordinary aggravated animal cruelty charge, the court was able to accept circumstances unusual enough to avoid conviction and impose a relatively modest fine (when the maximum penalty was 246 penalty units and/or 2 years imprisonment).

We were also able to resist a banning order which would have meant that the owners would have been banned for 10 years from having an animal, despite this incident being a tragic accident as opposed to an intentional act of cruelty.

The Court imposed no conviction and a relatively modest fine which can be paid by way of instalments.


DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 25/02/2013