If Platon Malakhov invites you to dinner, make bloody sure you check out what he will be serving before you accept.
Malakhov, who lives in Karamea, stole and tried to eat a seal carcass because he had an unusual diet and often ate road kill, the Westport District Court has been told.
The NZ Herald tells us today the 32-year-old Malakhov, formerly of Russia, pleaded guilty to possessing a sealskin, and cultivation of cannabis when he appeared in court.
His lawyer Doug Taffs said Malakhov, self-employed, had been walking along a Karamea beach, north of Westport, on November 4, when he came across a dying seal. He returned several hours later to find it dead and decided to take it home with him.
Nature had killed the seal and Malakhov was “simply disposing of one single carcass”, Mr Taffs said.
He later found the seal inedible because the fat content made it too rich.
Malakhov was unaware that taking the seal carcass for his own use was an offence under the Marine Mammals Protection Act.
Alf must confess he doesn’t see much sense in making it an offence to put a seal carcass to your own use.
What’s the point?
And what’s the difference between a dead seal and a dead hedgehog or possum?
Alf would go further and argue that if a bloke wants to eat the aforementioned seals, hedgehogs or possums – well, let him.
Once it is dead, the bloody seal can no longer be protected by the Marine Mammals Protection Act.
In the case before the court –
Mr Taffs said Malakhov had an “unusual dietary issue” and often got his “meat and fat” from picking up road kill.
He sought diversion for his client.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Harris told the judge diversion would be too light a punishment as police had found 57 cannabis seedlings at Malakhov’s home.
Come to think of it, the cannabis could well be the issue here.
The pot-growing Malakhov (Alf suspects) may well have addled his brain by smoking his crop and no longer is too aware of what he is eating.
So Alf would have banged him up in prison for a few months for growing the cannabis, but would not have been too fussed about what the defendant did to a dead seal (so long as it didn’t involve kinky sex).
Summing up, Judge Noel Walsh said Malakhov had been a New Zealand citizen for 12 years and was peaceful and law-abiding.
“Mr Malakhov was not doing anything sinister. He simply did not understand New Zealand laws.”
He took into account Malakhov’s lack of previous offending and convicted and discharged him for possessing sealskin.
On the cannabis charge, he convicted Malakhov and imposed a suspended sentence. Malakhov was also ordered to pay $300 towards the prosecution’s costs.
The judge warned him to stay on the straight and narrow, as the police would be sure to pay him a second visit.
Alf wonders if a visit from the cops might be the only visits the bugger gets, now his friends and neighbours have been put in the picture about his very strange culinary capers.