SENTENCE: District Court protects wild birds as well as people.
SENTENCE: District Court protects wild birds as well as people. Christine Price

EXTREME CRUELTY: Dog bite link to bird torture case

A DOG that bit a young man while defending its master, was part of a story that has since led two young Gympie men to court on animal cruelty charges.

The charges involved an incident in which a group of young people were recorded torturing an injured wild bird with a taser.

Animal cruelty case shocks Gympie judge

The second of the two men was sentenced in Gympie District Court this week, about a year after the first offender was dealt with.

Before the court on Thursday was Liam Jye Kirstenfeldt, 20, of Chatsworth, who pleaded guilty to committing an act of extreme animal cruelty on November 17, 2015, when he was 18.

The case came to light in February last year, when police were investigating unrelated matters, in which the other male, Jessie James Clarke, was dealt with for assault and drug crimes.

Evidence gathered against Clarke, now 22, showed Kirstenfeldt among a group of young men torturing a wild bird with a portable cattle prod, or "taser."

Kirstenfeldt pleaded guilty to serious animal cruelty and unlawful possession of the weapon.

A mobile phone video accessed by police showed young men, including Kirstenfeldt, torturing a dusky moorhen by tasering it repeatedly, before killing the bird, the court was told.

The video shows Kirstenfeldt saying "give us a go" before tasering the bird four times.

The bird had already been tasered five times by another offender, the court was told.

The video also showed Kirstenfeldt using the taser on himself.

This formed the basis of the weapon possession charge, according to facts agreed on by the defence and prosecution.

Asked why he had tasered the bird, Kirstenfeldt told police "they thought it might be fun."

He also said he was "stupid young and trying to fit in."

Judge Glen Cash sentenced Kirstenfeldt to 60 hours community service and placed him on 18 months probation, with no conviction recorded.

Gympie Times


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