Mark Douglas Daniel acquitted of serious animal cruelty

Sh!t happens: Man's blase response to killing two animals

A MAN has claimed he was just trying to break up a fight between his former girlfriend's miniature dachshund and a possum when both animals died.

A jury acquitted Mark Douglas Daniel, who was accused of beating the two animals to death in rage.

During a one-day trial, Mackay District Court heard Mr Daniel told police "I'm sorry, sh*t happens, it was an accident" when officers came knocking on his door last year.

He represented himself as he pleaded not guilty to serious animal cruelty with the intention of inflicting pain or suffering on October 5 at Mount Pleasant.

His former girlfriend told the court Mr Daniel had been angry that Limo, the dachshund, had been barking that night when he came outside the house armed with a mop or broom and swung the handle "hard … he was raging".

She alleged Mr Daniel had swung at Limo up to four times. "He (Limo) had blood dripping out of his mouth," she said.

However, she and another witness - who had been in the backyard - told the court they did not see the handle strike either Limo or the possum.

Days later in an interview with police, that was played in court, Mr Daniel said, "I don't know how the possum died, I don't know if the dog killed it or I killed it. It was an accident either way.

"I was trying to break up a fight between a dog and a possum to stop any accidents happening, to any of them, any injuries and both ended up dead.

"All hell broke loose, I ended up with a dead dog on my hands.

"I still can't believe it."

The court heard both animals were in an advanced state of composition and a cause of death could not be determined for either.

During the trial, Mr Daniel did not cross examine any of the four witnesses but made a brief closing statement to the jury.

"I didn't intend to cause any pain, suffering or death to any animal. I was trying to prevent this," he said.

"In my heart and in my head, I know that I'm not guilty of intentionally causing this death."

After deliberating for an hour and 20 minutes the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.


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