The following article contains items that may be confronting to readers.
Convicted animal cruelty offender 30-year-old Daniel Brighton appeared inCampbelltown Local Court today and was sentenced to 40 months’ imprisonmentwith a non-parole period of 26 months, the longest custodial sentence imposedfor an RSPCA NSW prosecution.
Mr Brighton, owner of mobile petting zoo Get Wild Experiences, was convictedof two offences of serious animal cruelty on Wednesday last week, for stabbinga dog with a pitchfork, hanging him from a tree and beating him with a mallet.
RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector Scott Meyers said, “The evidence shows the defendantultimately killed a dog after inflicting severe pain and suffering to him overa long period of time. It is shocking and inexcusable. This dog was someone’spet and he suffered a torturous death.”
During the hearing over three days at Campbelltown Local Court, the Courtheard that on 16 January 2016, Mr Brighton fended off two dogs attacking hiscamel Alice at his Minto property.
The Court heard that Mr Brighton captured one of the dogs, tied the dog to atree and left the dog there while he sought pain relief for Alice.
Before leaving the property, he armed himself with a pitchfork and stabbed thedog at least six times from above his head and down into the dog’s body. Asubsequent postmortem of the dog’s bones revealed the pitchfork left threethin linear scratch marks on the second vertebra behind the dog’s skull.
He left the pitchfork protruding from the motionless dog (at an angle ofapproximately 45 degrees) and left to go to the vet.
Some time later, Mr Brighton returned from the vet and proceeded to drag thedog to another location. He realised the dog was still alive when he began tolethargically walk beside him, exclaiming, “It fucking stood up!” and, “Itjust won’t die; it’s alive”.
He strung the dog to a tree branch and, whilst swinging a mallet like abaseball bat, hit the dog’s skull up to eight times. The beating fractured theright cheekbone of the dog towards his nose. An expert veterinarian determinedthis was not a fatal nor close-to-fatal injury.
He then placed the dog into plastic bags, wrapped him in towels, andinstructed an employee to bury him in the bush.
On 31 August 2017, RSPCA NSW executed a search warrant at the property and thedog was exhumed.
An expert veterinarian forensic pathologist from Taronga Zoo determined thatthe stabbing and the beating was unlikely to have caused the death of the dog.In her opinion, the forensic evidence showed a repeated and violent attack onthe dog.
Inspector Meyers urged people to be humane in their dealings with animals,saying, “Animals are sentient. They deserve humane treatment and there is noexcuse for the torture of an animal.”
“We would expect a higher level of respect towards animals from someone whoowns and operates businesses under licence involving animals.
“Owners have obligations to ensure their pets are securely housed. We knowfurther that the dog that escaped that night caused significant injuries toAlice the camel. That in no way excuses the actions of the defendant in thismatter.
RSPCA NSW reminds people that unaccompanied dogs should be immediatelyreported to the local council or rangers who are trained to manage thesituation.
Mr Brighton has filed for an appeal which is due to be heard initially in theSupreme Court on 3 July 2019. A bail application will be made at 2 p.m. today.
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