Man accidentally kills dog, crashes car in drunken rage
WHAT started as just another day of work for Matt Hughes has ended in tragedy when he rolled his car twice in a drunken rage after accidentally killing his dog, the Murgon Magistrates Court heard.
Hughes, who is from the Burnett region but now lives on the Sunshine Coast, tied his dog to the tow bar of his RAV4, and went in for a drink at the Hivesville Hotel after work on November 30 last year.
He left in a hurry when he was threatened and forgot he had tied his dog to his car.
Police prosecutor Barry Stevens said police found three large pools of blood at the end of a two-kilometre blood trail after witnesses saw the dog being dragged through town.
Defence lawyer Mark Werner said Hughes, 27, believed he dragged the dog for 100 metres before realising his mistake.
"He was hitting himself in the head and was very emotional."
"He went to visit family and friends for their support and they provided him with rum and he has become very intoxicated," Mr Werner said.
The father rolled his car into the bush on Wondai Proston Rd then kept driving when people came to help. He rolled the car again one kilometre down the road.
When police arrived Hughes challenged officers and witnesses to a fight.
Hughes, whose partner is expecting a child, was charged for driving without a licence and recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.212 per cent.
Police also found two grams of marijuana and a cone piece in the car.
While being taken to hospital, Hughes became aggressive towards the police officer in the ambulance.
"He began verbally abusing the officer and while maintaining eye contact with the officer he thrust his head forward and spat in the direction of the officer," Sgt Stevens said.
At the Kingaroy Hospital, Hughes swore loudly in the emergency department while being treated by staff for concussion and was bleeding from his ears.
"It is a disgrace and I hope the defendant has had time to reflect on his actions particularly at the hospital, they have the right to work in a safe environment," Sgt Stevens said.
Mr Werner said Hughes did not remember going to the hospital and didn't know where he was when he woke up in custody.
"He is very regretful of his actions and is very embarrassed of the whole series of events. He wrote a letter of apology to police and has apologised to the ambulance officers," he said.
Magistrate Louisa Pink sentenced Hughes to three months' suspended imprisonment for serious assault of a police officer.
"If you behave like this when you are intoxicated you need to ensure that you don't get that way otherwise you are at risk of being before the court for the same conduct," she said.
Hughes was fined $1000 for animal cruelty as it was not alleged to be deliberate with $250 to be paid to the RSPCA.
For driving while suspended he was convicted and fined $300 and disqualified from holding a licence for one month.
For driving under the influence, driving without due care and attention, possessing dangerous drugs and utensils and two counts of public nuisance he was placed on probation for 15 months.
For driving under the influence he was disqualified from holding a licence for 15 months, taking into account two prior convictions in five years.
He was disqualified from driving for six months for driving without due care and attention to be served concurrently.
The seized cone piece was forfeited and all convictions were recorded.