Man's pathetic sentence for drowning cat in garbage bin leads to calls for justice system overhaul


Coffs Harbour man Phil Tripp has been sentenced after pleading guilty to drowning Mango the cat in a garbage bin. Emma Hurst, Animal Justice Party MP has described the sentence as ‘pathetic’, and says it is a ‘wake up call’ to review the criminal justice system. Mr Tripp was sentenced to a 9 month intensive corrections order and 100 hours community service.

In more positive news, we believe Mr Tripp will be one of the first people in NSW to have an automatic lifetime animal ban following new laws introduced by the Animal Justice Party earlier this year (see section 31AB of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979). 


See statement below from the Hon. Emma Hurst MLC:

This man is a danger to the community. This shocking ruling fails to recognise the seriousness of his crime. Drowning an animal to death is cruel and unforgivable, and it deserves more than a slap on the wrist.

Mr Tripp caused extreme stress, pain, suffering and anxiety to an animal in what can only be described as a horrific act of violence.

This man intentionally drowned an animal. The suffering of any animal drowned to death is unthinkable. It is a painful and frightening death. Animal victims of forced drowning will struggle violently for over a minute. It is death by suffocation and is unjustifiable animal abuse in all circumstances.

This is just another example of a pathetic penalty for animal abuse. This will do nothing to deter future acts of abuse and fails to recognize the seriousness of his crime. 

The justice system needs an urgent overhaul on how it deals with cases of animal cruelty. In the UK sentencing guidelines have proven useful in ensuring the punishment fits the crime. Despite a large increase in penalties introduced in NSW this year, the courts are still failing to recognize animal cruelty as the serious crime it is. 

The community is outraged that animals like Mango have once again been failed by the courts.

Earlier this year the Animal Justice Party passed amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 that impose automatic lifetime animal bans for anyone charged for serious animal cruelty offences. Thankfully, because of this new law, this man will never be allowed to have or work with animals again.



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  • Emma Hurst
    published this page in Media 2021-10-27 11:38:49 +1100