'Sick' attack on pet drives family away
Two young Dunedin men have been jailed for brutally killing and torching a neighbour's loved pet in July and for the beating of an innocent man a few weeks later.
Jesse James Kelly, 18, and Codie John Tobin, 17, were each sentenced to 10 months' jail on joint charges of stealing and killing a neighbour's pet lamb in July, for the possession of a weapon, a knife, and the attack on a motorcyclist in August, as well as a series of breaches of community work.
Judge Fred McElrea also imposed release conditions on the pair in the Dunedin District Court yesterday, which included sessions with a psychologist because, in the judge's view, the pair had "sick minds".
At 12.30am on Sunday, July 21, Tobin and Kelly got high on hallucinogenic plant Datura at Kelly's house then stole a child's pet lamb, Larry, from a neighbouring family's back yard, the judge said.
They lead the animal away then carried out a sustained beating with wooden clubs on the head of the pet lamb in Kelly's back yard, killing it.
Such was severity of the beating pieces of the lamb's skull and brain were scattered around the yard, the judge said.
The offenders placed the body into a wheelbarrow, pushed it back to its owners' residence where they dumped it on the footpath to the front door, set it on fire and fled the scene.
On August 9, Tobin and Kelly assaulted a man in Dovecote Ave, kicking and punching him on the ground. They had earlier yelled abuse at him as he drove his motorcycle on the road past them.
Judge McElrea said a combination of the two incidents presented a "worrying element of thuggery and gratuitous violence that indicated a very sick state of mind in both men".
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Matt Johnson of Dunedin said the death of the pet lamb, which his family owned since it was two weeks old, had traumatised them.
Mr Johnson said they had only moved to Dunedin from Wellington a year before. The killing was the last straw for the family, which had struggled with the move, and his wife and young daughter had returned to live in Wellington.
- © Fairfax NZ News