A dog killer escapes jail after stabbing a dog to death in a Perth park.
Jayde Paul Rowan, the dog killer who has animal activists rallied against him, was handed a seven month suspended sentence by Perth Magistrate’s Court Thursday morning after he pleaded guilty to ill-treating Labrador Luna.
The rather shocking sentence handed to a man who carried a knife and stabbed an animal to death in broad daylight has triggered an outpour of furious reactions from animal activists and Luna’s owner Bridgette.
Perth Now reports that dog killer Jayde Paul Rowan, who fled the scene after stabbing Luna, threw away the knife, and jumped over a fence, said in court he was “remorseful” and had no intention to kill the animal.
But protesters gathered outside of court said they wouldn’t be fooled by the dog killer’s testimony, so they chased and abused him after he walked out of the court, hitting him with their signs and yelling “murderer” and “maggot.”
Jayde Paul Rowan stabbed four-year-old Luna to death last month in a Perth park, but the controversial sentence was handed to the dog killer only now.
Jayde Paul Rowan, who claims to be an “animal lover,” was walking his seven-month-old puppy when he pulled out a knife to kill Luna. According to Jayde Paul Rowan’s testimony, his puppy was circled by Bridgette’s two Labradors, and he reacted to a perceived threat by stabbing Luna.
Jayde Paul Rowan’s defense lawyer Michael Tudori claimed in court that his client did not mean to kill Luna, who died almost instantly, and merely wanted to scare the animal off. Bridgette’s dogs were off leash when the incident took place in a park on Apple Blossom Drive on May 17.
Chief magistrate Steven Heath, who charged the dog killer with animal cruelty, believed in Jayde Paul Rowan’s story about his 13-year-old dog being fatally attacked by two dogs in a park a decade ago, and that his puppy was circled by other dogs several months ago.
Mr. Heath described Jayde Paul Rowan’s decision to pull out a knife and stab Luna as “an instantaneous reaction” and acknowledged that the dog killer had no intent “to cause serious harm.”
“But obviously it did have that consequence.”
Tudori also acknowledged the fact that his client Jayde Paul Rowan did not respond “reasonably.” The dog killer even wrote a “remorseful” letter to Luna’s owner, which was read by Mr. Heath in court.
Bridgette, who describes her Luna as a “well-trained,” “gentle animal,” slammed the shock sentence handed down to the dog killer on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, Luna’s owner said the surprising sentence “shows everyone that it’s not only okay to carry a knife and get away with it but it’s also okay to hurt a harmless animal.”
Bridgette also slammed the dog killer’s claims that he’s an “animal lover,” saying that “no animal lover would do that to an animal.”
“I speak for everyone who owns an animal when I say that.”
Speaking outside the court, Bridgette’s friend Melissa called Jayde Paul Rowan’s story “false” and said she did not believe the dog killer was “remorseful.”
“Neither Labrador circled you, it was disappointing you felt you needed to change the story so that the judge was lenient on you… a letter to Bridgette isn’t going to bring back her Labrador.”
Bridgette also said she was still crying over her murdered dog’s death every night, adding that she’ll never return to the park where Luna was killed.
Luna’s death has renewed discussions about the need to review the Animal Welfare Act as well as introduce harsher punishments for those who are cruel to animals.
A petition advocating for a review of the Act, which was triggered by the dog killer’s shock sentence, has been signed by more than 19,000 people already.
[Featured Image by Lidiia Gainetdinova/Shutterstock]