STATEMENT FROM THE HON MARK PEARSON MLC
Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party NSW
“I am glad both men have been charged and am grateful to NSW Police and the wider community for actively seeking justice for this duck.
I am disappointed the offenders have received fines of just $450 each. Even with Benjamin’s 12-month community corrections order and Jonathan’s 60 hours of community service, these sentences do not reflect the severity of the crime committed and are not strong enough to deter violent offenders.
We know there is a strong link between animal cruelty and domestic violence, and particularly given Benjamin’s previous domestic violence breach, a much harsher penalty would have been appropriate and better aligned with community expectations.
Finally, I’d like to respond to the media qualifying that the brothers were drunk at the time of the incident. Alcohol is never an excuse for violence, particularly given this was clearly an intentional act of cruelty. ”
Earlier this year Mr Pearson was made aware of video footage showing a man ripping off a duck’s head, slamming its body to the ground, and playing with its decapitated head, opening and closing its beak.
At the time, Mr Pearson called for both men to receive the harshest penalties under NSW’s animal protection laws.
It was reported yesterday that the offenders, brothers Jonathan Christopher Kolster, 24, and Benjamin James Kolster, 27, have been fined $450 each for their actions.
Benjamin was fined $450 fine for his involvement in the duck incident, re-sentenced over an unrelated domestic violence breach and placed on a 12-month community corrections order.
Jonathan was also fined $450 over the duck incident.
He was disqualified from driving for six months, put on a nine-month good behaviour bond and ordered to complete 60 hours of community service.’