Bleijie directs DPP to appeal sentence of alpaca killer

Alpaca killer walks out of the Caboolture Magistrates Court.
Alpaca killer walks out of the Caboolture Magistrates Court. Vicki Wood

UPDATE: The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Jarrod Bleijie, today directed the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal the sentence of Wayne Charles Hartwig, which was handed down in the Magistrates Court at Caboolture yesterday.

Mr Hartwig was convicted of two counts of injuring animals by night and one count of trespass.

The offences related to abhorrent acts of cruelty that resulted in the death of two alpacas at Caboolture State High School.

Mr Hartwig received a sentence of 6 months imprisonment and was released on parole immediately.

The Attorney-General has advised Crown Prosecutors that he is of the view that the sentence is manifestly inadequate and must be appealed.


EARLIER: Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has released a statement this morning saying he is appalled by the despicable acts of animal cruelty committed by Wayne Charles Hartwig.

Mr Bleijie says he is aware of the sentence received in the Caboolture Magistrates Court yesterday and is currently considering all options.

Mr Bleijie was approached for further comment but was unable to speak to media at this stage as legal advice was still being sought on this matter.


Alpaca torturer gets nine months - on immediate parole

A carton of premixed drinks was allegedly the catalyst that resulted in the cruel deaths of two alpacas at Caboolture State High School last year.

Bellmere teen, Wayne Charles Hartwig faced Caboolture Magistrates Court for sentencing today, after pleading guilty to charges in relation to this offence.

On October 13, 2012 Mr Hartwig along with a 16-year-old Caboolture boy severely injured the animals to the point of death.

Mr Hartwig appeared dressed entirely in black complete with purple tie, skate shoes and scruffy hair.

The 19-year-old appeared on three charges including two counts of injuring animals and one count of trespass.


Prosecution states case

Prosecutor Tegan Smith alleged the accused threw rocks, whipped and beat the alpacas with a large metal pole found at the school.

The attack lasted half an hour and left one alpaca dead at the scene. The other was left alive for three hours before it was euthanized.

Ms Smith said during police questioning Mr Hartwig denied involvement, stating that he had no knowledge of the incident and that he had never been inside the school grounds.

Magistrate Jennifer Batts was shown CCTV footage of the incident.

Ms Smith said the footage "clearly showed the brutality of the offence," and it showed the terror the animals endured.

"It was a cowardly and vicious attack," she said.

It was argued the attack was premeditated as Mr Hartwig and the co-accused had to cross a large distance and herd the animals into a small enclosure to commit the offence.

Alpaca killer's defence attorney Kurt Fowler walks out of the Caboolture Magistrates Court. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News
Alpaca killer's defence attorney Kurt Fowler walks out of the Caboolture Magistrates Court. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News Vicki Wood

Defence heard

Mr Hartwig's defence solicitor Kurt Fowler said Mr Hartwig originally denied his involvement as he was scared for his family and own safety.

He said Mr Hartwig had received threats since being named by the media.

Mr Fowler said Mr Hartwig and the co-accused had consumed a carton of premixed drinks before the offence and were 'grossly intoxicated' at the time.

Mr Fowler argued the accusation of premeditation.

He said that the pair would have had to have left their homes armed instead of finding a weapon on site if it were premeditated.

He said Mr Hartwig suffered from depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse to a large degree and had been unable to get employment in the past year.


Hartwig's punishment

Before sentencing Magistrate Batts said she felt it was difficult to overstate the loss Mr Hartwig's action had over the school and broader community.

He was convicted and sentenced to nine months imprisonment in total with immediate parole. He was also ordered to pay $686.50 in restitution costs to Caboolture State High School and was unable to purchase or possess an animal for two years under a prohibition order.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty in front of the Caboolture Magistrates Court. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News
RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty in front of the Caboolture Magistrates Court. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News Vicki Wood

RSPCA responds

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty congratulated police for their efforts but was disappointed with the result.

"In the scheme of things he is still free, he won't spend any time in jail at all and we do feel that's disappointing," he said.

"He will be going home tonight; we don't think that is right."

How do you feel about the sentence given for the alpaca slayings?

This poll ended on 01 June 2013.

Happy that justice has been done - 1%

Disappointed with the immediate parole - 19%

Seems a bit too soft to me - 8%

I'm really, really angry - 71%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  alpaca bashing appeal caboolture magistrates court caboolture state high school jarrod bleijie

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