LIVE BAITING: Lack of jail time 'disappointing' say RSPCA
AUSTRALIA'S leading welfare charity has slammed the decision to dismiss the appeal which could have seen notorious Ipswich live baiting greyhound trainer Tom Noble sent to prison.
The decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal to dismiss the appeal of the State Government, in regard to the "manifestly inadequate" sentence handed down to Mr Noble, was incredibly disappointing said RSPCA Queensland spokesperson Michael Beatty.
Noble pleaded guilty at the Ipswich District Court to animal cruelty - admitting he had strapped live piglets, possums and rabbits onto a dog training rig at his Churchable property.
He was sentenced to three years jail, wholly suspended.
But Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath appealed, arguing the sentencing judge made a mistake in not ordering Mr Noble to serve jail time.
That appeal was dismissed last week.
Last September Mr Noble pleaded guilty to 15 counts of serious animal cruelty and was sentenced to three years imprisonment wholly suspended for five years..
"The court heard that Noble had tied possums, piglets and rabbits to lures and then enticed greyhounds to tear them to pieces," Mr Beatty said.
"The animals endured a painful prolonged torture before finally dying from their injuries.
"This type of cruelty is precisely why the charge of serious animal cruelty was introduced. He was charged with 15, repeat 15, counts of serious animal cruelty and still serves no time."
Mr Beatty said the lack of jail time would set a precedent for future cruelty cases.
"It's not only disappointing, it sets a very worrying precedent for anyone appearing on any animal cruelty charge," he said.
"The defence can argue that Tom Noble was up on 15 charges of serious animal cruelty and served no time whatsoever.
"The court didn't even issue a prohibition order that would stop him from owning animals. This is a very sad day for anyone who loves animals."
The charge of 'serious animal cruelty' was introduced in 2012 after community outrage over the leniency of the sentence handed down to two young men who bashed two alpacas to death at Caboolture High School.
"The young men had been charged with animal cruelty which carries a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment, but served no time behind bars, Mr Beatty said.
"Serious animal cruelty carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment."