- Department of Justice and Attorney-General of Queensland
Hugh Meixner, a Texan who migrated in 2004 to work horses here in Australia, plead guilty in the Bowen Magistrates Court to animal cruelty.
In court, prosecutor Sergeant Dave Blundell called for a prison term after giving a gut-wrenching description of the mare's injuries, which included the horse's head being so swollen both eyes were closed and multiple cuts, grazes and welts including a haematoma in the vulvar region.
Barrister Bronwyn Hartigan argued for a good behavior bond and Magistrate Athol Kennedy, after lengthy consideration, imposed a two-month jail term, suspended for 15 months.
Sgt Blundell added that "Her head was swollen, both eyes were closed, there were lacerations to the offside front leg, grazes to her face, welts along the length of its back, internal injuries that caused it to pass blood, rope burns and a large haematoma in the vulva area."
RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said the decision by the magistrate appeared to be totally out of touch with community expectations.
"A man beats a horse half to death and walks away with a suspended sentence ... yet again an opportunity to make a stand against animal cruelty has been ignored and the general public is quite rightfully feeling let down and totally disillusioned"
"It appears that the police prosecutor argued long and hard for a jail term to be imposed but this was ignored by the magistrate and the defendant has walked away with little more than a slap on the wrist."
This case was prosecuted by the Queensland Police, not the RSPCA, but the man was charged under the Animal Care and Protection Act (2001) with animal cruelty. Under the Act he could have been liable to a $100,000 fine or two years imprisonment
We the undersigned, as law abiding and tax paying Australian citizens, want Hugh Meixner to be summarily deported for his barbaric actions toward a defenseless creature and for his willingness to flout Australian law.