Mary Beth Sharp - Asshole of the Week | The Jackal

20 Jul 2012

Mary Beth Sharp - Asshole of the Week

Today, the Otago Daily Times reported:

Two men who slaughtered 33 dogs on a farm north of Auckland have been handed sentences of home detention and community detention respectively, and ordered to carry out community work at the SPCA. 
Tony Campbell and Russell Mendoza were earlier found guilty of recklessly firing a gun and four counts each of wilfully ill-treating an animal after they shot the 12 caged dogs and 21 puppies in January, 2010.

In Auckland District Court today, Judge Mary Beth Sharp sentenced Campbell to six months' home detention, ordered him to pay $4700 reparation, and to complete 300 hours of community work, which she said should be carried out at the SPCA.

Mendoza was sentenced to six months' community detention, $4700 reparation and also ordered to do 300 hours' community work at the SPCA.

What this sentence tells people is that it's OK to kill and torture animals. Tony Campbell and Russell Mendoza have effectively got away with their heinous crimes, because after making a lot of noise about how bad their actions were, the Judge failed to uphold the law properly.

The Arms Act 1983 states that somebody who is convicted for recklessly using a firearm is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not exceeding $4,000 or both. The Animal Welfare Act 1999 states that somebody who kills an animal in such a manner that the animal suffers unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to both. The maximum sentence for their crimes is a jail term of four years and a fine of $54,000.

The SPCA said this was the worst case of animal abuse they'd ever seen, with SPCA director Bob Kerridge saying the pair certainly should have had a jail sentence.

"The judge made it clear that the sentencing is there to send a message that animal cruelty is unacceptable. I don't believe this sends that message," he said outside court.

Campbell and Mendoza should have received the maximum penalty available. One has to wonder if they weren't just because of the colour of their skin... After all, Joseph Rewha was sentenced to 9 months in jail for cruelty to just one dog.

Such a weak sentence will not deter other people from similar acts of animal cruelty, and for that Mary Beth Sharp is a complete asshole.