Greyhound trainer sticks by guilty plea
THE "poster boy" of greyhound live baiting will proceed with his guilty plea to animal cruelty charges, despite this week's controversy over the hidden camera footage that landed him in court.
Tom Noble's defence lawyer, Angus Edwards, said his client would not object to the use of video footage which showed live baiting practices being undertaken on Noble's Churchable property.
Noble, 69, maintained his guilty plea at a sentencing hearing before Ipswich District Court today, despite Friday's Ipswich District Court ruling to have Ian Hoggan's serious animal cruelty charge thrown out on the basis that the footage was obtained by trespass.
"(Mr Noble) could have cynically challenged the admissibility of the footage as others did," Mr Edwards said.
"He has not objected to playing the video footage which is a reflection of his remorse.
"Despite the judgement on Friday, his plea was made and the footage was played."
Mr Edwards said his client had suffered condign punishment, in the form of public shaming, even before Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren's reserved decision set for Tuesday.
Crown prosecutor Clare Kelly told the court Noble was charged with 15 counts of serious animal cruelty in 2014 which related to live baiting instances using piglets, rabbits and possums.
She said four piglets, three possums and two rabbits were killed.
"Mr Noble was charged on the basis he was a principal offender," she said.
"Live baiting is a performance enhancement and includes profit to trainers."
"(The offending) perpetrates the use of live baiting practices in the industry."
Mr Edwards said his client had been "painted as a blood thirsty villain" since he was charged.
"He has been vilified and ostracised by the greyhound industry," he said.
"He finds himself at almost 70 years of age adrift.
"All the people associated with the greyhound racing industry now want nothing to do with him.
"He has become the poster boy or the face of live baiting in Queensland.
"It is not sexy or salacious."
In a letter to the court Mr Noble's wife said a harsh picture had been painted of him and the family had received death threats since he was charged.
"That is not the man he is," the letter read.
"His life will never be the same as it once was."
Mr Edwards said Noble was raised and steeped in a culture of live baiting, pig and kangaroo shooting - a history which he submitted should be taken into account in sentencing.
"It would arise from my client's background, there was no regard (for animals) as man's best friend," he said.
"He saw them as feral animals.
"Unfortunately that may not be uncommon in some sectors of society.
"That is somewhat less serious than someone who sets out with sadism in his heart."
Judge Horneman-Wren said the "matter was obviously complex and would require careful consideration".
"It is a complete disregard for the animal," he said.
"He showed utter detachment from the animal."