Prisoner stomped birds to death

Last updated 11:43 07/03/2013
Kiel Andrew Pearce
KILLED WITH SINGLE STOMP: Prisoner Kiel Pearce has admitted stomping to death five birds that were cared for by another offender sharing the prison compound.

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A convicted sex offender serving an extended supervision order has admitted stomping to death five birds that were cared for by another offender in the prison compound where the men lived.

The Christchurch District Court was told that Kiel Andrew Pearce did not get along with his housemate at the wired compound where they lived and "acted out" by harming the other man's quail - an adult bird and four chicks.

Both men are on extended supervision orders, which are sometimes imposed on offenders at the end of their prison sentences so that they remain under supervision well after their release date.

Judge Robert Murfitt told the 26-year-old: "I imagine there is little enough pleasure in life living under an extended supervision order, and you deliberately targeted that."

He added three months' jail to the sentence that Pearce is currently serving, after he pleaded guilty to the charge of wilfully ill-treating the birds by stomping them to death.

Pearce was jailed for 25 months in September 2007 for a series of charges including a sexual assault on a 7-year-old girl. That offending started soon after his release from prison on convictions for assault, indecent assault on a woman, burglary, and offensive behaviour.

In June 2010, he cut off his electronic bracelet and went on the run from the Christchurch half-way house where he was staying. Police said he may have taken a kitchen knife with him when he fled the Racecourse Rd house. He was caught and sentenced the following month.

In July 2011, he admitted charges of having a bottle with the intention of using it as a weapon, assault on a Corrections Department staff member, and breach of the supervision order.

In court today, police prosecutor Bronwen Skea said the offence happened on February 18 when Pearce's two housemates left for the day.

He went to a cage where the birds were cared for by one of the other men, and stood on them with his shoe. They were later found flattened and dead inside the cage.

Defence counsel Phillip Allan said the birds had been killed with a single stomp.

"It was a humane way to kill the birds. The problem is that they weren't his birds. It was done in relation to issues between himself and another resident of the house."

He said Pearce had already spent two weeks in full-time custody as a result of the offence, which would normally bring a penalty of a fine or community work.

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Skea disagreed. The offence amounted to a malicious attack against a housemate.

"Undoubtedly, some ill-treatment and pain has been inflicted upon the animals."

She urged that a prison term be imposed.

Community Probation told the court there was no alternative address available for Pearce, and there had been a report by a psychologist raising issues about the offending and its link to his "index offending".

Judge Murfitt said it was the result of a personal vendetta against the owner.

"He obviously cared about the birds. You cared enough against him to want to inflict anguish on him in this way."

- The Press

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