10 months jail for doing Gareth Morgan’s work. Isn’t that a bit over the top?

Credit: realfigjam, via photoforum.ru

Credit: realfigjam, via photoforum.ru

Ok, so his technique may need some work, but isn’t 10 months jail more than a bit over the top?

A homeless man who bashed a ginger cat named Garfield to death with a large rock has been jailed for 10 months.

Judge David Saunders imposed the sentence on 44-year-old Adrian Paul Burton in the Christchurch District Court, after getting a psychological report showing there was no major mental illness.

Burton had admitted the charge of wilful ill-treatment of an animal, though he had considered defending the case because he believed the cat had been ill and he had euthanased it.

Burton has 11 pages of computer print-out listing his previous offending: mainly anti-social offending and breaches of community-based sentences.

This offence happened at 8.45am on August 11 when he was at an address in Poulson Street, Addington, where he stores some of his belongings.

Poulson Street you say?  Hmmm.

He has lived there previously.

He saw Garfield, which also frequented address, and picked up the cat and placed it in a sack.

The police said: “He picked up a large rock. He then struck the bag repeatedly with the rock during which the cat was screaming loudly. He continued until the cat was silenced and the bag was covered in blood.”

Defence counsel Vicki Walsh acknowledged the incident was “disturbing and abnormal”.

It seems to me that Gareth Morgan’s disciples need access to a better “How-to” kit.

“In cases of this kind, almost inevitably judges are berated up and down the country because they have been too lenient or haven’t taken into account the maximum penalty provided under the act.”

The maximum jail term is five years. Burton’s actions had simply been “extreme violence to this defenceless animal”, the judge said.

As you all know, I have no problem with tough judges.  But he’s picking on a homeless man who appears to be only marginally capable.  But as long as Judge David Saunders can keep up the same sort of thinking across all his cases, he’s got my thumb up from now on.


Source:  The Press


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  • Time For Accountability

    This is a judge i respect from past decisions i have seen.

    He leaves the defendants in no doubt about why a decision is made.

    His daughter used to run the RSPCA in Dunedin.

    As a marginally capable person he may be looked after better for a while. He will be in the lower end of the system and may develop better life skills.

    • Robert Sewell

      TFA, after 44 years, he’s not going to learn much more. The question here is “Is he better off in care, or just left alone?”

      The RSPCA is disturbingly close to this decision.

      • Paul

        the SPCA are disturbingly close to many things …including disturbingly close to being labelled environmental criminals by their actions of ‘Trap, neuter and release’ on ‘wild state’ cats .

  • Richard McGrath

    This guy is a menace to society, a textbook antisocial personality, who would be just as likely to bash a kid to death with a rock than a cat. With eleven pages of previous convictions I assume the judge applied the three strike principle?

  • Paul

    Burton certainly ‘wasn’t’ doing Gareth Morgan’s work!
    Morgan suggested NZ is better off without cats…and that’s true as it would be…but a better outcome for everyone will be cat control measures one day.

    Furthermore Gareth does not say to people to cruelly kill cats ,but simply asks them not to replace them when they die if they feel so inclined. DOC staff kill cats everyday…a single hit on the head does the trick and no one is upset…not even judges.

    This case was just an act of cruelty by an individual. The title of this article was the only thing over the top.