Vile man who beat six little penguins to death on a beach will NOT be jailed in spite of media fury

20-year-old Joshua Jeffrey from Tasmania was convicted of animal cruelty in June this year for an incident that took place in January 2016


                            Vile man who beat six little penguins to death on a beach will NOT be jailed in spite of media fury

A young man who beat up six small penguins to death on a beach recently had his sentence increased after the original sentence was appealed. 20-year-old Joshua Jeffrey from Tasmania was convicted of animal cruelty in June this year for an incident that took place in January 2016 in which he viciously beat up six little penguins to death on a beach at Sulphur Creek, Tasmania.

Animal welfare groups in the country were shocked when he was originally sentenced to a mere 49 hours of community service. The sentence was then appealed by the Director of Public Prosecution with the reason being that it did not "reflect community anger and changed attitudes to animal welfare."

The Daily Mail reported that Burnie Supreme Court Justice Stephen Estcourt re-sentenced Jeffrey on October 15 to a total of 98 hours of community service as well as two months in jail, which was wholly suspended. He said: "Community attitudes are important in this case, the original sentences shocked the public conscience."



 

The judge continued: "Denunciation is paramount in this case. The nature of offending is such that a suspended sentence is called for and coupled with a significant amount of community service." In the trial that took place in June, the jurors in the court heard that Jeffrey was drinking on the beach at the time of the incident with some friends when he suddenly launched the brutal attack on the defenseless animals using a stick.

An autopsy of the animals' bodies revealed that they all suffered from fractured skulls. The court also heard from the prosecutors that witnesses on the beach tried in vain to stop the intoxicated young man from beating the animals to death, but he continued with the massacre.

The Tasmanian state government introduced stricter maximum penalties for anyone convicted of animal cruelty in 2015. Currently, if anyone is found guilty of aggravated cruelty towards an animal, they will face up to five years in prison and/or be fined up to $30,000. 

Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) family exiting burrow, Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia (Source: JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons)
Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) family exiting burrow, Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia (Source: JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons)

As defined under the Animal Welfare Act of 1993, animal cruelty is "a person must not do any act, or omit to do any duty, which causes or is likely to cause unreasonable and unjustifiable pain or suffering to an animal." 

If anyone witnesses acts of animal cruelty they are urged to contact the RSPCA anywhere in Australia to report it. However, the RSPCA can only investigate a complaint coming from Tasmania if the RSPCA Inspectors are given a reasonable belief that an animal cruelty offense was committed.