A man who drove a ute into a cow at his Hunter property before slitting its throat with a pocket knife and leaving it severely wounded for more than a dozen of his dogs to harass and maul over several hours has been sentenced to jail.
Michael Kevin Johns told his neighbour - the owner of the heifer - "maybe I like to kill stuff slowly", when challenged over the treatment of the animal, court documents say.
Johns, 38, drove his vehicle at the pregnant cow on December 23 last year after he saw it had wandered onto his property at Brookfield - just north of Clarence Town.
The collision broke the cow's rear right leg - an injury that left the heifer "in obvious distress" and required humane euthanasia.
But a statement of facts tendered to the court said Johns took a small pocket knife from his vehicle and cut the animal's throat, causing a wound about six inches long and two inches wide, before leaving the heifer "alive and in considerable pain" with as many as 15 of his Maremma dogs.
The dogs then stalked, harassed, bit and severely wounded the creature for about four hours and 20 minutes.
A witness saw the dogs with the heifer and tried to help the cow stand, but was unsuccessful.
He warned Johns to "do something about your dogs", but Johns dismissed the concern, saying he could do what he wanted on his land.
The witness then informed the neighbour - the owner of the cow - who came to the property and euthanised the heifer.
In a recorded conversation, Johns told the neighbour he had injured the animal in order to protect his land.
When the neighbour accused Johns of leaving the cow to suffer, Johns replied: "Maybe that's you, like you like to kill stuff straight away, maybe I like to kill stuff slowly".
Johns pleaded guilty to a charge of torture, beat etc and seriously injure animal.
He was sentenced to 16 months in jail, with a non-parole period of 10 months and five days, in Raymond Terrace Local Court on Monday.
The 38-year-old was also sentenced to an 18 month Community Corrections Order after pleading guilty to one count of failing to provide vet treatment while being in charge of an animal, in relation to a neglected puppy found at his property during an inspection while he was on bail earlier this year.
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