Micha Brotherston

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Published on www.stuff.co.nz 25/10/2019


A man who slit the throat of his flatmate’s puppy has been sentenced to more than two years in jail – the longest sentence ever given in an SPCA prosecution. 

Micha Brotherston, from Auckland, was sentenced at the North Shore District Court on Friday. 

On top of 26 months’ jail time, he was disqualified from owning animals for seven years and ordered to pay $1472 in veterinary fees, $1000 reparation and $500 to each victim.

The puppy, Turbo, belonged to Brotherston’s flatmate Jack Van Biljon and his then-girlfriend.

Van Biljon said on Friday he was “ecstatic” about the sentence. 

“I’m pleased about it. It’s probably the best outcome that [then-partner] Casey and I, and all of us, could have asked for,” he said. 

In February 2018, Brotherston confronted his flatmates at their shared home in Dairy Flat, accusing them of stealing his belongings, the court heard.

The couple began packing their car with their belongings and their two dogs: Turbo, a 10-month old kelpie cross, and Nova, a bull terrier cross.

Brotherston then cut Turbo’s throat with a filleting knife and tried to cut Nova’s throat, too.

“It was out of the blue,” Van Biljon said. “He did his thing, I did my thing. He seemed like an all good dude.

“I still can’t really wrap my head around it all. Who knows, really, what was going through his head.”

The couple had to rush their puppies to a vet, arriving at the clinic covered in blood from the animals.

Turbo was dead on arrival.

The SPCA’s annual list of the worst animal cruelty cases its inspectors came across in 2017.

Val Biljon said Casey, now his ex-partner, still owned Nova, but he hadn’t been able to bring himself to get another dog yet, and still had “a lot of trust issues” after the incident. 

“For a person to turn around on such a vulnerable thing is sickening, and they deserve to be punished for that.”

SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen described the crime as “unfathomable”.

“There is a proven correlation between violence against animals and violence against people, and thus, this sort of crime is particularly horrendous,” Midgen said. 

“I am pleased to see the sentence handed down for this egregious crime, sending a strong message that the full extent of the law will be applied to offenders who commit these unspeakable acts.”

The sentencing was also related to charges from police. 

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