20.5 C
Byron Shire
April 11, 2021

Bob Stewart imprisoned for killing Bucket

Latest News

A win for the roughy

The battle for the 'roughy had been a tough road for conservationists and hopefully this win will be the last fight.

Other News

In the ditch

Peter Olson, Goonengerry The Suez Canal blockage is just one small part of the Reset Button: unexpected delays, meet ‘just-in-time’ production. You...

A win for the roughy

The battle for the 'roughy had been a tough road for conservationists and hopefully this win will be the last fight.

West Bank apartheid

Palestine Liberation Centre, Byron Bay The ABC’s Religion and Ethics Report this week featured an interview with former Israeli cabinet...

Interview with DeeBee Bishop

Thirst is the story of Stan Adams, as told by Deebee Bishop. He was one of six housemates who lived with Stan in a broken-down share house when he’d walked away from his life to live rough. Decades later, Deebee tells the story.

Is it solar fair?

Meg Pickup, Ballina The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) draft rule change will result in solar households and businesses being...

Wooing the discerning gin drinker with Husk Botanic

Husk founder, Paul Messenger, introduces his new Husk Botanic – a fresh cane spirit, designed to be mixed with...

Bucket at the beach. Photo supplied.

This morning at Byron Bay Courthouse Robert Stewart was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, with a minimal non-parole period of five months, for the bow-shooting attack which led to the death of his neighbour’s pet dog Bucket.

Bob Stewart, 60, was found guilty of cruelty offences after a two day trial in October of this year, following his deliberate shooting of the young Wolfhound-Malamute cross at South Golden Beach in December 2019.

Photo David Lowe.

Mr Stewart sat quietly as his sentence was read out.

There were no supporters or opponents in the courtroom, which was operating under COVID restrictions.

Magistrate Karen Stafford said she could have given the defendant two years, but took into account several late-arriving references, as well as the fact that Mr Stewart had got rid of his archery equipment, and was a long-standing member of the South Golden Beach community.

She noted that Bob Stewart was the primary carer of his sister, who has ongoing health issues.

While emphasising the seriousness and cruelty of his offence, Magistrate Stafford said Mr Stewart had been of good character over the last twelve months, and said his earlier criminal offences (drink driving and cannabis cultivation) were relatively minor and took place many years ago.

References submitted

Magistrate Stafford accepted the references of his GP and others that he had been remorseful about the dog’s death, and had been a hard and continuous worker until he had retired as a builder, as well as spending years caring for his mother, and acting as a de-facto grandfather.

However she reminded the court that Bob Stewart’s character referees had not heard the evidence she’d heard about his behaviour towards his neighbours.

Speaking for the prosecution, Sergeant Alix Thom told the court that Mr Stewart’s actions had caused negative long term effects for many people living in his street, particularly dog-owners, who had spent many years unable to socialise normally as a result.

Robert Stewart takes advice from his lawyer John Weller outside court during the trial. Photo David Lowe.

Bob Stewart’s lawyer John Weller acknowledged the severity of his client’s offence, but emphasised it was not a random or premeditated act of violence, but a response to a perceived threat.

Simmering anger

Magistrate Stafford spoke about Mr Stewart’s ‘simmering anger’ which had led to Bucket’s death, but said she thought the ’emotionally charged atmosphere’ of the street in South Golden Beach had now been dealt with.

She agreed Mr Stewart was unlikely to re-offend, and noted that he had obeyed multiple AVOs which had been taken out by his neighbours since the bow-shooting incident.

Bucket’s owner Kris Thompson asked for additional compensation of $637.20 for vet bills relating to the death of his dog, which was ordered.

In handing down sentence, Magistrate Stafford said Mr Stewart would be eligible for parole in May 2021. Bob Stewart was escorted from the courthouse by four sheriffs of the court.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Was the dog killed on his own property? The article does not mention where it is killed. In the country it is common practice to kill dogs that are caught unleashed on your property as they cause a threat to other animals and people.

    • Several comments question / assume the dog shooting occurred in a rural area:
      South Golden Beach would seem to be primarily a suburban subdivision, comprising typical (quite small) suburban blocks and definitely not farms.

      Also the article states
      “However (the magistrate) reminded the court that Bob Stewart’s character referees had not heard the evidence she’d heard about his behaviour towards his neighbours.
      Speaking for the prosecution, Sergeant Alix Thom told the court that Mr Stewart’s actions had caused negative long term effects for many people ***living in his street***, particularly dog-owners, who had spent many years unable to socialise normally as a result.”
      Also
      “However she (the magistrate) reminded the court that Bob Stewart’s character referees had not heard the evidence she’d heard about his behaviour towards his neighbours.”
      In addition to mention in the article of multiple AVOs being taken out by neighbours against the gentleman in question.

      Without being aware of all the facts given over a two day trial perhaps some caution should be taken in attempting to placing the shooting of somebody’s pet in a better light and second-guessing the circumstances in explaining the shooter’s (to directly quote the Magistrate) “simmering anger”.

      And clouding the result of a two-day trial with issues of veganism / vegetarianism and wild life welfare is, with respect, verging on just plain “bat-shit crazy”.

  2. meanwhile 20 thousand cows are butchered every day in this country. People here are brainless and fuss about a dead dog when they live in the midst of killing fields.

  3. Robert Stewart’s crime is an abhorrent act of cruelty and deserves suitably harsh punishment. However, I wonder if imprisonment is the best choice when other options could be of greater benefit to the community. I would suggest Mr Stewart be ordered to pay a monthly amount to the RSPCA dog shelters for a number of years and in addition, work under supervision in animal shelters and dog pounds on weekends for at least 3 years. In this way the community benefits rather than having to pay for the considerable cost of imprisoning someone for 9 months; it also allows the offender to continue working and therefore to pay tax and lastly, it gives him the opportunity to appreciate the vulnerability of domestic animals when humans treat them as objects for their own gratification rather than caring for them as sentient beings. In addition I suggest the offender be required to undertake a course in anger management.

  4. I think this is unbelievable.
    Six months in gaol for killing a dog.
    When I first moved to the North Coast it was an accepted, and regularly applied principle, that a dog on another persons’ property would be shot on sight. Simple farming practice.
    That a dogs life deserves a sentence like this is absurd.
    Too many precious city types have moved in with out of proportion views.
    Would they care as much about wildlife, homeless people or refugees as much as a dog?
    What an incredible waste of government money.
    There are too many dogs around the shire. What about the wildlife that they slaughter relentlessly?
    Does anyone get even a fine for their dog killing native animals?
    They should and the dog killed immediately on the spot.

  5. And what about the kangaroos and horses that are slaughtered to feed these precious dogs?
    Does anyone care about them?
    Not to mention the waste of resources in the production of this ‘pet’ food.
    The fuel, the rubbish in landfills

  6. Nick,
    You have my 100% vote on this one.
    What about the man trying to care for his disabled relative? It can’t have been easy amidst constant barking? Nothing is mentioned of this, so are we to understand the offender killed a peaceful dog?
    99% of dog owners do the right thing and the remainder 1% behave like unaccountable tyrants, switching their animals’ dog collars on and off like a tool of abuse (mostly, no collars at all).
    Aggressive and dangerous dogs are not always breed specific, neglected behaviour is the marker.
    Is it time for ‘dog and cat free’ suburban areas?
    We need a more immediate response (and possibly more funding) so Council can act more promptly with Community Justice Services.
    A mental assessment of dogs should be manditory upon complaint to Council and the mental stress to neighbors made a priority and NOT the offenders protected.
    Do the owners of this dog take ANY responsibility for this outcome?
    Perhaps they already have another dog to repeat perform whilst a man is in prison and his disabled relative is where???

  7. Because the case took so long to be resolved it appears that some of these comments are made in ignorance of the facts . This was not a wild vicious rabid dog, Bucket was a friendly hound who never hurt anything. An arrow is a cruel and slow way to kill anything . Send mr Stewart to gaol .

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Maybe Canberra needs a bit of distraction biff

Mick breathed in but his Cronulla Sharks football jersey struggled to contain his well-insulated six-pack and he held up his hand as he approached Bazza in the front bar of the Top Pub.

Council crews working hard to repair potholes

Tweed Shire Council road maintenance crews are out across the Tweed's road network repairing potholes and other damage caused by the recent prolonged rainfall and previous flood events.

Poor Pauline

Bob Vinnicombe, Sefton A lot of hypocrisy from Labor and The Greens about respect for women. Look at the treatment they dished out to Pauline...

New film celebrates getting back outside

'Free From Lockdown: Back Out in Nature' is a new short film in which a group of disabled and non-disabled performers from the Northern Rivers celebrate being in nature after COVID lockdown.