Quokka kicker pleads guilty in Perth court
A young man who police allege was filmed kicking a quokka into the air while his friend laughed at the cruel act has pleaded guilty to ill treating an animal.
Harrison Angus McPherson, 20, is accused of chasing and kicking the animal in the enclosed rear courtyard of a chalet on Rottnest Island in February.
His friend, Corey Douglas James, is alleged to have filmed the incident on his mobile phone then uploaded the disturbing footage onto Snapchat.
McPherson appeared in Fremantle Magistrate’s Court this morning where he admitted ill treating an animal.
Magistrate Dianne Scadden adjourned the sentencing to allow him to get a psychological report.
Police say McPherson initially missed the quokka when he swung at it in the courtyard but he connected with a second kick and sent the animal flying into the front wall of the property.
The quokka was never found and the extent of its injuries is not known.
Rottnest police were waiting at the jetty for the men when they tried to leave the island by ferry.
James was fined $3500 in March and was denied a spent conviction after he pleaded guilty to ill treating an animal.
During his sentencing, it was revealed he had been subjected to frightening and disturbing threats.
The court was told the boilermaker lost his fly-in, fly-out job after the footage went viral because his employer felt his safety could not be guaranteed.
James had been drinking throughout the day of the incident and his lawyer admitted he had encouraged McPherson by laughing and filming him.
But she argued he was laughing at his friend’s un-coordinated attempt at kicking the quokka and not the treatment of the animal.
In March, New Zealand zoologist Bevan Denis Hames was fined $2000 after he put a quokka into the water near the Rottnest Hotel.
He argued he did it in a bid to prove the marsupials were good swimmers.
That quokka swam to short and was later found unharmed by a ranger.
A 38-year-old from Queensland who helped capture the quokka that was put into the ocean was fined $200 by police and was booted off the island.
In separate incidents in 2015, two French tourists chose to stay in jail instead of paying a $4000 fine for trying to torch a quokka, while a teenager was fined $2500 for kicking a quokka two metres into the air.
McPherson's bail was renewed ahead of his next court appearance in June.
He covered his face and did not comment as he left the court.