Kangaroo torturer jailed for ‘gleeful and sadistic’ cruelty

Dylan Griffin arriving at Joondalup Magistrates Court this morning. Picture: Anton La Macchia
Dylan Griffin arriving at Joondalup Magistrates Court this morning. Picture: Anton La Macchia

A THIRD man involved in Perth’s shocking kangaroo torture case was jailed for 11 months in Joondalup Magistrates Court this morning, sparking an attack on the media outside court by the jailed man’s supporters.

Magistrate Gregory Benn said he had no alternative but to jail Dylan Leslie Griffin (22), of Bullsbrook, for his “gleeful and sadistic” cruelty to a kangaroo in May last year in which he shot it in the eye, spat on its head and punched it seven times with knuckledusters before posing for a photograph.

“Your active, gleeful and sadistic full-hearted involvement in these actions and offending and cruelty and enjoyment towards this kangaroo … there was certainly no remorse,” he said.

Mr Benn, who sentenced co-accused Luke Dempster to jail last month, said the catalyst for Griffin handing himself in was the video footage of the cruelty “coming to light and made public”.

Though noting that Griffin, who grew up in an outlaw motorcycle club in Victoria, had been grieving from the death of an uncle and close friend and could have been suffering from depression, Mr Benn said it did not explain the animal cruelty. Neither did him being in a “haze” of alcohol and drugs, taken his lawyer said to “numb” the grief.

“It doesn’t go anywhere near explaining why you would have behaved in this appalling manner,” he said.

A supporter of Griffin restrains another supporter after violent scenes broke out outside court after he was sentenced to 11 months jail. One man lashed out at a TV camerman’s equipment, a journalist had his camera shoved into his face while he was trying to take a photograph and another cameraman was told ‘F__k you dog”. A security officer repeatedly called for the group to “walk away”. Picture: Anton La Macchia

He also described Griffin’s claim through his lawyer that he had shot the kangaroo in the right eye in compassion to end its life as “ridiculous”. The prosecution described the same claim as “unbelievable”, the torture as a “disgusting act”, said Griffin was “not remorseful” and had not co-operated with police after turning himself in. The gun and knuckledusters have never been recovered.

In sentencing, Mr Benn took into account Griffin’s “relatively young age”, his early guilty plea entitling him to a 25 per cent discount, the support of his family and partner, and noted the references from his mother and scaffolding employer, who described the accused as a “ordinarily kind person and animal lover”.

He also noted a pre-sentence report which supported his parole eligibility and noted his “long history of substance abuse” and that he had “remained abstinent” since being charged.

The court heard Griffin had come to WA for a fresh start in 2017 after at one stage having his own wall and ceiling fixing business in Victoria to which Mr Benn asked “if he wanted to start fresh”, why would he associate in Perth with members of an outlaw motorcycle club.

His lawyer, who argued for a suspended sentence, said Griffin had donated to animal organisations and had been that intoxicated on the night of the attack, he was “not intending” offence to the animal “per se”.

“I’m not sure how much difference that made to the kangaroo,” Mr Benn replied. In response to the magistrate, the lawyer said Griffin had taken the court proceedings “very seriously” and accepted jail as the “likely outcome”.

Griffin’s lawyer said he had been at home taking beer, acid and cocaine, and not intending to go out when he was “peer pressured to attend a boys’ night out”. The kangaroo shooting had not been a “planned event”. But the prosecution said the group was “going for a shoot” and that the accused “knew what they were doing”.

“They’ve gone out to entertain themselves, Your Honour,” the police prosecutor said.

Griffin will be eligible for parole after serving half his sentence.

He was also sentenced to one-month jail to be served concurrently for possessing knuckledusters.