Man jailed over sick emu video
A young farmhand from Victoria has been sentenced to 42 days in prison for running down a herd of emus with his ute.
Jacob McDonald, 20, was charged by police in 2018 after footage emerged of him laughing as he sped towards the large birds before running them down with his vehicle.
The horrifying video went viral and sparked a nationwide manhunt for the man behind the cruel act.
After the video was shared thousands of times, MacDonald was tracked down by police and the RSPCA.
The farmhand, from the small South Australian town of Pinaroo, near the Victorian border, was charged with a string of offences, including aggravated cruelty to animals.
He also faced several driving offences.
MacDonald claimed the cruel video of him ploughing down the native birds was only for his mates to see.
During the distressing video, MacDonald drives at a high-speed towards the running mob of emus, shrieking and yelling. As he hits the birds, he yells and keeps count.
He appeared in court today with dozens of supporting family and friends, according to 7 News. Many of them had submitted character references to support him.
MacDonald turned away when the prosecution played the video of his ute rampage in court.
"You received pleasure from inflicting pain on defenceless animals," said magistrate Michael King as he handed down MacDonald's sentence.
MacDonald told The Daily Mail last year he was acting to protect the land from emus.
"I could show you some photos of the destruction the emus make down here. We've been in drought. We're literally growing crops on about four inches of rain."
"You've got these animals coming in and making a mess. The reason there is so many on the road is because they're looking for something to eat. And there's nothing."
"They're just that poorly, they need to be put down.
"Here is what the RSPCA doesn't understand, they go on about cruelty, they should come out here and have a look at the state of these animals … they're not doing anything for them."
More to come