Man who killed children's pets gets 21 months jail time
A MAN burnt and destroyed more than $6000 worth of property before he drowned his children's two pet birds, a court heard.
The Tweed Heads West man, 31, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty and appeared by video link from prison yesterday.
Magistrate M Dakin told the Tweed Heads Local Court the facts of the case were troubling.
"Police say... he broke in and damaged numerous amounts of items," he said.
The court heard The man's partner had ended their relationship because of his drinking issues.
After the break up police alleged he broke into the house and removed clothes from the wardrobe and then defecated on them.
The man then gathered more items, which included clothes, books and furniture, and set them alight in the backyard.
Magistrate Dakin said the most appalling act was when the man was seen by neighbours chasing two rabbits around the property and trying to throw them on the fire.
The rabbits suffered superficial burns as a result.
The court then heard he threw "in his rage" a bird cage with his children's birds inside into the family pool.
After stabbing various items in the house with a knife the man allegedly fled he scene but was later arrested by Tweed police.
He pleaded guilty to numerous charges that included two counts of aggravated animal cruelty, high range drink driving, destroy property by fire, destroy and damage property, drive while disqualified and breaking an apprehended violence order.
The man's solicitor Rod Behan said his client was intoxicated at the time and remorseful for his actions.
"He's had long term problems with alcohol and it's been a big wake-up call," he told the court.
"He needs to do something about his alcohol use."
Magistrate Dakin sentenced the man to 21 months behind bars; he will not be eligible for parole until December 17, 2014.
The man was also ordered to pay the victim $6000.