A 51-year-old man who brutally bashed three puppies was sentenced to four months imprisonment released immediately on parole in Biloela Magistrates Court today.
Over 40 protesters, some accompanied by their dogs, shouted outside the courthouse as Robert Barry Haines pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Mick O'Rourke said two dogs were found by a community member near the Gladstone-Monto Rd on May 27 - five days after the incident occurred.
Sgt O'Rourke said two dogs, with several wounds to their head and shoulders, had been tethered together while remains of a third were later found.
The dogs showed evidence being hit on the head with a blunt instrument.
One of the dogs was so badly injured its skull was exposed.
The court heard Haines had taken the puppies to Calliope's Railway Hotel on May 22 to try and sell them.
Haines then attempted to "put the puppies down" after they didn't sell.
Haines solicitor Jun Pepipo said his client was working in the Gladstone area, as a taxi driver, when he was asked to get rid of the three dogs.
"He knows now he should have surrendered the animals to the RSPCA," Pepipo said.
"(We) had the case adjourned to Biloela as an air of caution hoping media attention would subside."
Haines sat silently beside his lawyer in the almost empty courtroom dressed in a black hoodie and jeans.
The 51-year-old kept his head down and eyes closed as Mr Pepipo read comparative cases including an incident where a man had killed his neighbors cat.
Haines shook his head as Mr Pepipo recalled a case of kittens that had been set alight and ran over.
Echoes of the protesters outside could be heard in the courtroom.
Magistate Hennessy said given the facts of the case she believed Haines was more callous in thinking than deliberately cruel.
Hanies was ordered not to own or possess any animal for three years, ordered to pay $2499.40 restitution and sentenced to a period of imprisonment of four months released immediately on parole.
Haines pulled his hoodie tightly over his head as he was escorted out of the courthouse by police, while protestors chanted 'shame on you'.