A BENDIGO man reportedly told wildlife supporters to "get over it" and "go eat kangaroo meat for lunch" when he faced court yesterday for pushing a kangaroo down a flight of stairs and leaving it to die.
Shannon Adamson, 22, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday to five charges including wilfully injuring protected wildlife, being in possession of wildlife taken from the wild and giving false or misleading information to police.
Six people, wearing Justice for Josie T-shirts, wept in court as the summary was read out, which described how Adamson pushed the kangaroo down a flight of stairs in a trolley, leaving it with its intestines hanging out and skin pulled off.
The kangaroo was “still warm” when checked by Wildlife Rescue Emergency Services volunteers 30 minutes later, despite the cold weather.
Department of Sustainability and Environment prosecutor Chrisanthi Paganis told the court yesterday that about 8pm on April 27 last year, Adamson and Dusty O’Neill were driving in East Bendigo when they hit a kangaroo.
Adamson got out of the car, pulled the kangaroo by its tail and lifted it into the back of the ute.
At 10pm, O’Neill drove Adamson and the kangaroo to the upper level of the Coles car park in Bendigo’s CBD, where Adamson grabbed the animal and pushed it around in a trolley for several minutes. He then pushed the trolley, with the kangaroo inside, down a flight of stairs.
Neither made any attempt to check whether the kangaroo was alive at any point. The pair returned 30 minutes later and saw spectators, police and wildlife volunteers at the scene.
Upon vet inspection the following day, it was discovered that the kangaroo had suspected “knife inflicted injuries”, with parts of its skin removed and the small intestine hanging out.
When first interviewed by police, Adamson denied all allegations but he later admitted to some involvement in the matter. On May 1, O’Neill’s girlfriend implied to police that both of them were involved in the incident; O’Neill then made admissions to police on May 2.
When interviewed a second time, Adamson admitted taking the kangaroo from the bush and pushing it down the stairs but maintained he did not use a knife to injure the kangaroo.
He claimed that tech screws, which the kangaroo was sitting on in the back of the ute, had caused the bloody injuries to the kangaroo.
Ms Paganis said Adamson’s statement to police was “contrary to O’Neill’s statement”.
Defence counsel Peter Baker said Adamson was young, with minimal prior convictions, and was “remorseful” for his actions.
Outside court, Josie supporters doubted Adamson’s remorse and claimed that Adamson had told them to “go and eat kangaroo burgers for lunch”, made kangaroo noises, and said “get over it, it’s just a kangaroo”, when they were standing outside the court room yesterday.
“It’s been an emotional time and we are looking for tougher sentences because otherwise 10 or more animals will end up like Josie,” Ms Lyall said.
“It’s just a helpless animal and the whole community really has been outraged by this act.”
Magistrate Bruce Cottrill will sentence Adamson today. Adamson is expected to receive a 12-month community corrections order with conviction.