3 Oct 2013

Hitting swan earns community detention

12:37 pm on 3 October 2013

A Katikati man has been sentenced to community detention for hitting a black swan with a jet boat and causing distress to six others on Tauranga harbour on Boxing Day last year.

Carl Williams, 36, pleaded guilty in August to two charges under the Animal Welfare Act, including the wilful ill-treatment of an animal.

Video footage was given to the SPCA earlier this year which showed a high-powered jet boat being steered towards black swans, with one seen to pass below the bow and appearing to be seriously hurt.

The Tauranga District Court heard during sentencing on Thursday that Williams has already paid about $6600 in reparation to the SPCA and has donated $500 to a local wildlife charity.

He was sentenced to four months community detention and ordered to pay a further $3,500 in fines to the SPCA.

Tauranga SPCA animal welfare inspector Jason Blair says the sentence is appropriate and the penalty conveys a strong message.

He says people need to know jail is a possibility for such offending.