A BENDIGO man has been given jail time in one of Australia's toughest sentences for animal cruelty.
Roderic Neil Mitchell, formerly of Redpa, in north west Tasmania, was sentenced to a maximum of 15 months prison Wednesday after being found guilty of almost 190 charges in July.
Mitchell fled to Bendigo after his arrest in Tasmania in 2007 and handed himself in to Bendigo police on February 17, 2010.
He was extradited from Bendigo to Tasmania in February 2010.
Mitchell, 32, had contested almost 190 charges relating to the neglect and gross mismanagement of dairy cows at his farm between July and October 2007 and in 2009.
Launceston Magistrate Reg Marron on Wednesday ordered Mitchell serve nine months non-parole but bailed him pending a Supreme Court review of his guilty verdict.
An ``over-confident'' and inexperienced Mitchell arrived in Tasmania to make money from the state's burgeoning dairy industry, the court heard.
But the venture became a nightmare with Mitchell ``grossly underestimating'' what it took to run a farm, unable to manage his herds.
At one point his cows were dying at a rate of one per day compared to the industry average of two to five a year.
``[This is] the worst case to come before the court that I'm aware of. The community would be justifiably outraged by this appalling situation,'' Mr Marron said.
He said Mitchell regarded attempts by authorities to intervene as `interference', developed a `persecution and vilification' complex and offended until the animals were seized.
``He minimised his role and sought to shift responsibility to others,'' Mr Marron said.
In sentencing, Mr Marron considered Mitchell's exit from dairy farming and ``public condemnation'' due to the nature of charges.
Mitchell was ordered to pay $111,000 costs and banned from having livestock for 10 years. He is due to appear in the Launceston Supreme Court on October 14.