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Byron Shire
June 16, 2021

Man jailed over South Golden Beach dog shooting

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A local builder who shot his neighbour’s dog with a bow and arrow in South Golden Beach has been jailed after unsuccessfully appealing his conviction in the District Court.

Robert Bruce Stewart shot ‘Bucket’, a 10-month-old Wolfhound-Malamute cross, with a steel-tipped arrow on December 6, 2019.

The injury caused the death of the much-loved dog, and Stewart was subsequently found guilty of two animal cruelty charges, including recklessness and torture, in Byron Bay Local Court last October.

Kris Thompson with his beloved friend Bucket whom he got as an eight-week-old puppy.

The 61-year-old then appealed his conviction in the District Court, and was allowed to remain on bail pending the outcome of that case.

Last week a judge in the Lismore District Court upheld Stewart’s conviction, and he was ordered to immediately commence his custodial sentence.

Stewart will serve a minimum of three months jail, with a maximum of seven months.

‘The whole family is happy that Bucket is getting some justice, and that someone who’s capable of that is not in our community anymore,’ Bucket’s owner, Kris Thompson, told The Echo on Friday.

‘It’s good to see that the case is over – it dragged out for a long time. He was trying to get away with such a horrible act.’

During Stewart’s initial trial in the local court, it was alleged that he was motivated by his intense dislike of neighbourhood dogs and dog-owners, which had a documented history.

However, Stewart claimed that he had been trying to defend his specially bred chickens and rooster from an attack by Bucket.

He also claimed that he had simply been trying to scare the dog rather than aiming for it, and that the arrow – his third shot at Bucket – had glanced off a palm tree before striking the animal.

But Local Court Magistrate Karen Stafford said she was unconvinced by the ‘flimsy evidence’ regarding the third arrow ricocheting from the tree.

‘Why did it still have enough force to enter the dog’s torso and sever the spine?’ and what was Mr Stewart trying to achieve if the first two arrows had been so ineffective at scaring the dog?’ Magistrate Stafford asked.

She said she was convinced that a motive existed to get back at the neighbourhood dogs and their owners, with Mr Stewart seeking to ‘downplay how upset and obsessed he was’ after previous events with dog-owning neighbours.

Stewart will be eligible for parole in mid August.

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  1. That’s idiotic and irrational that he should be serving time for that..what punishment does the other bloke get for his dog continually attacking his animals? .this Shire is populated by $#%^#s and their out of control untied dogs..it’s insanity.

  2. This is a very similar story to the gun crazy bloke at Blue Knob near Nimbin … who regularly fires a high powered rifle on weekend nights … n sulkily claiming on Monday mornings that neighbours dogs were chasing his cattle. He shot our beloved family dog in the false belief that this little tan dog …. that was scared of cows … had molested his cattle. The sole witness to this cattle/dog event had clearly stated that it had been a black n white Bull Terrier. He also has a history of dog obsession .. once firing upon a firewood guy n his dog on a neighbouring property … the ‘wood bloke’ had permission to be there to fell an old dead tallow tree. The Nimbin Police are fully aware of the danger this wacko is to all his neighbours .. but apparently, do nothing about him cos’ …[deleted] It’s only a matter of time before he kills/injures someone with his night time fusillades … n the cops do nothing. About time they got their priorities right.

  3. Hey 20 thousand cows are butchered every day and noone seems to give a stuff. Welcome to the dumbed down secular age and the selective compassion of the morons who populate it…

  4. My grandson’s killer got 3 months jail for running over him, leaving him to die alone on the road, left the scene of the crime, evaded a police hunt for 10 days, admitted to being high on ice, and was driving illegally on a restricted licence. THREE MONTHS! He is walking free right now. There is NO justice in our legal system. Our family have a LIFE sentence. I am sorry for Bucket’s owners. I am sorry for us all – the system has failed.

  5. I was told that if my dog barked at a cow the owner could shoot the dog in NSW? I have had chickens killed by dogs it seems a lunatic waste of tax payer money to put this guy in a private for profit prison couldnt he have done something useful like pick some fruit for a farmer

  6. Dont support anyone killing dogs, but over one billion native animals are killed every year by dogs and cats, with no jail term for their owners.

  7. Bad dog owners are to blame, I never blame the animal because there has never been a bad dog. People think that they and there dog have some sort of extra special thing going on and there dog is the best dog. Nobody else thinks that about your dog, it’s not special its a dog. It will kill at every opportunity and bark all day until you come home and you don’t care. Bad dog owners are every where and are to blame, there are special enforcement officers for dog’s because of bad dog owners. There are thousands of dogs killed by us every year because of bad dog owners. I own a dog and its just a dog and it’s loved and part of our family, we walk and feed and look after it.


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