Alf is disappointed by a judge’s ruling that an 18-year-old who shot a crossbow bolt through a cat’s head should not be named.
The tosser would suffer “extreme hardship” if his name was ever to be published, the judge decreed.
And what – pray -did the poor bloody cat suffer?
The Herald reports that The Wainuiomata teenager was charged with ill-treating an animal under the Animal Welfare Act after the incident last October.
But the justice system has gone all soft and pappy and the charge was withdrawn this month after he completed court-ordered tasks and police granted diversion.
At a hearing in the Hutt Valley District Court yesterday to rule on permanent name suppression, Judge Bill Hastings said the man had submitted to the court that the incident was a mistake.
He said in the submission he was firing at a target in his backyard when the cat, Moomoo, wandered into the crosshairs.
The bolt lodged into the cat’s head and he ran off.
So did the young tosser fess up straight away, saying oh dear, sorry, but I’ve accidentally shot someone’s cat?
As Judge Hastings said, the 18-year-old handed himself into police only when a flyer appeared in his letterbox about he incident.
“This indicates to me that he did not mean to hit the cat,” Judge Hastings said.
The logic escapes us, here at the Grumble household in Eketahuna.
The man attended a restorative justice meeting with Moomoo’s owner and was described by police as being exemplary in completing his court-ordered tasks.
So Judge Hastings has granted permanent name suppression, saying he took the man’s age and otherwise clean criminal record into account.
“The cat is alive. He has made peace with its owner.”
Judge Hastings was satisfied that publication of the man’s name, address and occupation would result in extreme hardship and ruled on permanent name suppression.
The police prosecutor did not oppose name suppression.
Only the Wellington Cats Protection League president, Susan McNai, has said name suppression sent the wrong message about animal cruelty.
“If you can get away with it, what does that say to the next person? It’s like `I can do whatever I want. I don’t have to pay anything, nobody’s going to know it was me’.
“People should know who he is so they can let him know how disgusted they are in him.”
After the incident, don”t forget, poor little Moomoo had to have surgery at Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
The NZ Herald says this was “to remove the crossbow”.
Not bloody likely.
It would have been to remove the arrow – or the bolt.
The crossbow was the weapon from which the arrow – or the bolt – was fired.
The Herald could have affirmed this by going back through the files on Moomoo’s troubles.
A report at the time from Massey University showed a picture of vet nurse Anjuli McKenzie with Moomoo “and the crossbow bolt that was removed from his head”.
Owner Donna Ferrari says she was shocked when she saw Moo Moo at about 4.30pm on Monday afternoon with what looked like an arrow through his head. He hid in bushes and would not come out. She called police and reported the incident. Police told her they would ask the SPCA to investigate. The next morning, after searching the bushes with her neighbour, she returned to the spot where she last saw Moo Moo and attacked it with hedgeclippers, cutting away the vegetation until she spotted the yellow fins on the red bolt.
She took Moo Moo to the Wainuiomata Veterinary Clinic. “They said they’ve never seen anything like it and called you guys [the Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital].”
She drove Moo Moo to Massey’s Manawatu campus that afternoon but had to leave him before surgery took place to get home to her three-year-old daughter.
“They rang when we were driving back to say they had removed the bolt.” She said she and friends were trying to publicise the incident by posting photos of Moo Moo with the bolt through his head on social media.
“I’m sick to my stomach. Hopefully the person responsible is caught or feels so much hatred from the community that they never do anything like it again.”
This tends to support Alf’s view that the culprit was a tad tardy in giving himself up.