A 37-year-old Perth man from Mirrabooka, Australia, charged with killing a four-year-old Golden Labrador retriever at the Perth park of Apple Blossom Polyantha Reserve, received no more than a slap on the wrist according to animal activists. Jayde Paul Rowan pleaded guilty to stabbing the dog to death last month. On Thursday, Perth Magistrate Steven Heath handed him a seven-month suspended sentence.
According to the News Hub, on May 17, the dog’s owner, Bridgette, 22, had been exercising her two dogs, Luna and Choco, off leash when she noticed a man leaning over Luna.
“Within a split second Luna was on the floor. I thought she was just submitting, wanting to play,” Bridgette stated. “The man bent down. I didn’t hear any snarls, growl, yelps or barks. I thought everything was fine.”
One moment later, however the awful truth became a painful reality. Bridgette ran up to the man to make sure the small dog he had been walking was not being annoyed by Luna, but as she approached, the man put his hood up and mumbled something Bridgette said she could not understand. The man walked away before jumping the fence and then broke into a run to escape.
“I got closer. I realized she was on the floor, blood all over her. I just dropped and started screaming and screaming… I picked her up and lay her on top of me and felt her heart and I couldn’t feel her breathing; she was gone within seconds,” she cried. ‘Luna was my baby… she was my first dog.”
According to Rowan, who claims to be an “animal lover,” told the judge he had been walking his seven-month-old puppy when he pulled out a knife and killed Luna. He stated Bridgette’s two dogs circled his puppy, and he perceived their action as a threat. His defense lawyer stated his client had not meant to kill Luna, but just scare her away, however there was more to Rowan’s story. Ten years before, Rowan owned a 13-year-old dog who had been fatally attacked by two dogs in a park, and when he encountered Luna surrounding his puppy, it was “an instantaneous reaction.” His lawyer acknowledged that his client had no intent to “cause serious harm.” Judge Heath believed him.
After court, a very distressed Bridgette spoke out telling Channel 7News she is afraid to go anywhere in public because she lives in fear:
“I don’t even want to go to the local shops, because I feel scared of what could possibly happen to me because this man thinks it’s okay to carry a knife and the judge has made him think it’s okay to carry a knife,” Bridgette said.
Bridgette may appeal the ruling.
Read the previous story here.
Rest in peace Luna. (Photo of Luna stabbed by Perth man via WAPolice and screenshot via News 7)
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