THE father of a man jailed for torturing a kangaroo has been fined for assaulting a member of the media after his son’s sentencing.
On January 14, Magistrate Gregory Benn sentenced Dylan Leslie Griffin (22), of Bullsbrook, to 11 months in jail for the part he played in the shocking animal cruelty case.
When leaving Joondalup Magistrate’s Court, Dylan’s father Leslie Thomas Griffin, who is an outlaw motorcycle gang member from Victoria, attacked Channel 7 cameraman Simon Hydzik, damaging his camera lens.
The police prosecutor said Griffin pushed passed two members of his son’s support group and struck the man’s camera with “an open left hand” while saying “come on c***”.
She said supporters tried to restrain him but he continued to yell “f*** off you smiling prick”.
“It was all recorded on the video cameras,” she said.
She said when he was arrested on January 16, he said he was “just trying to get to the car with my family”.
Griffin had previously pleaded guilty to common assault and damaging property.
Appearing before Mr Benn this morning via an audio link from Victoria, Griffin said he had attended the Joondalup court several times in support of his son and had been “approached and accosted by members of the media and animal activists”.
“I didn’t do the crime…they didn’t need to be in my face,” he said.
He said before he left the court he asked security to “do something about it” but they did not and he just “reacted”.
“I am paying the price for them doing nothing,” Griffin said.
Mr Benn said while better security may have prevented the issue, it was “very difficult outside the court when there are a lot of people around and a situation erupts”.
He said he understood Griffin would have been upset about his son and the prison sentence – “any father would be” – and his emotional reaction.
“At the same time, your son’s matter, and yours in connection, are of public interest, which the media had a fair right to report on without being subject to assault and damage to their property,” he said.
Mr Benn said it was a difficult matter given the “competing interests”,
Taking into account Griffin’s early guilty plea, that he did not have similar prior convictions, and the difficult circumstances, Mr Benn fined him $1200 plus compensation of $615 to Mr Hydzik for the damage to his personal camera property.
Griffin was also ordered to pay court costs of $205.30.
Mark Bhatti (29), of Banksia Grove, has also pleaded not guilty to assault and assault occasioning bodily harm of an ABC journalist during the same incident.