CRUELTY FARMER LOSES APPEAL
Phillip William Carter and his associated company appealed against the sentences which were handed down in Midland Magistrates Court in August 2012. Mr Carter appealed the decisions to the Supreme Court and subsequently appealed again to the Western Australian Court of Appeal.
Mr Carter was the person in charge of approximately 70 animals, including sheep and cattle, when RSPCA WA Inspectors attended various properties owned by him between February and July 2011. The Inspectors found some of the animals in very poor condition and numerous carcasses of sheep and cattle were sighted. Further animals were euthanased due to the severity of their condition.
On 9 August 2012 he and his company were convicted of animal cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act 2002. Mr Carter received a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He and his company were also ordered to pay $113,000 in fines and RSPCA WA was awarded $50,000 in costs for veterinary treatment. He was prohibited from owning or being in charge of any animals except for two dogs and a cat, on condition they are sterilised.
In his original sentencing remarks in Midland Court, Magistrate Benn described the offences as "very serious" and said the animals in Mr Carter's care "underwent a significant and extended period of suffering". He said he was appalled by the suffering endured by sheep discovered by Inspectors, which he described as "unimaginable".
In his concluding remarks in the Court of Appeal judgment handed down today, Justice Mazza said "In my opinion, the fines, both individually and collectively, and the Prohibition Orders that were made in respect of the appellants, were entirely appropriate having regard to the circumstances of the case ... In other words, were I to exercise the power to re-sentence the appellants, I would not have imposed any different sentences or orders". Justices Pullin and Newnes concurred.
RSPCA WA Chief Inspector, Amanda Swift said "We are pleased with the result. You cannot leave animals to suffer like this, so we are particularly pleased that the lifetime ban from owning animals will remain in place".