Court hears disturbing details of phone call after dog death
DISTURBING details of a Kuranda man's call to police, moments after he allegedly killed his neighbour's pet dog by hanging it from his veranda, have been heard in court.
John Graham Smith, 75, allegedly made the call on June 6 last year before police arrived and found the two-year-old staffy named Goji dead hanging from a veranda handrail with a piece of rope tied to its neck.
The dog belonged to neighbours Zac and Kirstee Mazlin.
Mr Smith is facing one count of injuring animals after pleading not guilty.
During the call played to the court, the man said he was "just about fed up" with the dog going on to his property and made numerous complaints against the animal.
He told the emergency operator he found "a good strong length of rope, formed a noose" and "put it around the dog's neck".
"I hoisted it up using my handrail on my deck, it's feet are off the ground, and it seemed to have a little trouble breathing apparently," he said.
When the operator asked if he had just "hung the neighbour's dog" the man confirmed that was correct.
The Mareeba Magistrates Court heard he said he had "a number of sharp knives here", as well as a masonry gun used in the building trade to fire nails, and while wondering what to do next, he selected the "lesser of two evils" by requesting police.
When called to the stand, the retiree said he was "conscious of being attacked by a dog" and "very wary of them".
He told the court that, when he tied the dog to the handrail, its front paws were on the wire lengths forming the balustrade and its back paws on the deck. He confirmed he had no intention of killing the dog or restraining it in a way that would cause it to suffocate.
Mr Mazlin was also called as a witness and described Goji as a "very friendly and happy dog" who was "more like a family member" than just a pet.
"I was doing a lot of FIFO at the time so we got her to be a companion to (Kirstee) when I was away and (Kirstee) felt safer with her at home when I wasn't there," he told Mareeba Magistrates Court.
"She loved food, was never aggressive on any terms at all, and did a lot of dog-training school."
Mr Smith's defence was claiming an unsound mind, and a noticeable absence of wilfulness, under section 172 of the Mental Health Act 2016.
Acting Magistrate Raimund Heggie reserved his decision until September 15 at Atherton Magistrates Court.
Originally published as Court hears disturbing details of phone call after dog's death