Confronting footage shows man kicking frightened dog
A RACEVIEW man who was filmed kicking the family dog has been banned from owning pets for five years.
Taylor Tuckwell, 28, a disability support worker and a father of one, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to three charges under the Animal Care and Protection Act, including two counts of animal cruelty; and breaching his duty of care to provide appropriate living conditions.
In a case prosecuted by the RSPCA, no conviction was recorded against Tuckwell, who has no record of violence.
Tuckwell was ordered to pay $3000 in veterinary and animal boarding costs; and $1201.80 in RSPCA legal and complaint costs.
Prosecution for the RSPCA, barrister Adrian Braithwaite and lawyer Vanessa Lyons, outlined the case with agreed facts on sentence put before the court.
The RSPCA began its investigation after information was received in May this year that Tuckwell's yard in a unit complex was overgrown and covered in dog faeces, and his dog, "Kinks", did not have adequate food or water.
The RSPCA had received previous complaints in 2019.
A witness, who also took the footage, alleged that they previously saw Tuckwell punching Kinks.
Mr Braithwaite showed film taken by the witness of Tuckwell's behaviour toward Kinks, with the prosecutor saying the community would denounce such conduct.
Tuckwell was seen kicking Kinks, then hitting him on the head with a metal bowl.
The court heard Kinks was tethered to the side of the house with no access to appropriate shelter and bedding.
Tuckwell returned later with a bowl of dog food and kicked his pet three times.
Kinks is shown cowering with fear in the footage.
The witness told the inspector that in July 2019 they saw Tuckwell sitting on Kink's stomach and punching the dog with two fists, and heard the dog yelp.
The pet was then seen to be thrown against a pole.
The witness alleged Kinks was often tethered for three or more days, and regularly had no access to water.
Tuckwell at first denied the allegations about kicking the pet.
When inspectors arrived on May 20, they found Kinks tethered to the side of the house with no access to shelter and with minimal water available, and dirty blankets for bedding.
In an interview Tuckwell denied being cruel, telling the RSPCA inspector he wasn't always at the property due to his work, and other family members looked after Kinks.
He said that he had disciplined the dog and smacked him once after pulling clothes off the line.
He said Kinks was only tied up when they hung the clothes out.
When shown the video, he said he could not recall any reason why he would have kicked the pet.
Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said the videos were discomforting and showed gratuitous violence.
She said the footage "speaks for itself", and the dog was clearly frightened.
Ms Sturgess said it was concerning that a man who works as a disability support worker for vulnerable people would then treat a vulnerable animal in such a way.
Tuckwell is prohibited from having an animal in his care until December 2025, unless approved by the RSPCA.
He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.
The rescued cattle dog-cross, named 'Kinks', has since been put up for adoption and seeks a loving home.