The bitch is dog food now.
10..00 am. After takin me hat off, swearing upon the bible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I lowered me hand and sat
down in the witness box.
My solicitor spoke first,
"So, Mister Ball, please give your testimony, in your own words what occured at your property on the moring of May 11th this year."
" Well, in answer to yer question, (at this point I faced the magistrate) can I explain to you sir, the events that lead up to the shooting?"
There was silence in the musty, varnished timber local courtroom.
My solicitor stared at me over the rim of his glasses. (This wasn't in his intitial brief to me prior to the hearing)
I saw the R.S.P.C.A. (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Inspector turn to the Police Prosecutor. The Magistrate sighed. The
Police Prosecutor stood up. "Your worship, I object. Counsel for the defendant Mister Ball has opened with a specific question. The defendant
attempts to manifest or explain his reasons for shooting his neighbours dog. Wounding it to the point where it was consumed by wild dogs. Suffering.
I point out here, at this opening question that Mister Ball should answer the specific question as asked by my learned friend defending Mister
I glanced at me solicitor. Bugger me if he just didn't look down.
The Magistrate, without even looking at me said, "Answer the question and no, you may not explain your reasons." The Police Prosecutor sat back
down. Nodded to the R.S.P.C.A. officer who folded his arms, tilted his head to the left and gave me the 100 yard stare.
'Crikey' I thought. 'I'm for it.' So I gave it my best shot. (pardon the pun)
"Well." I offered. "It was at day break on that May day that I heard me chooks goin off. I did have over 180 of em."
The Police Prosecutor stood up. Yelled, "Objection! your worship. The defendant is attempting to lead the court into prior events that were not
included in the opening question. And,,I ask that his answer be taken from the testimony records."
This time the magistrate turned to me giving me a look that a mother in law would be proud of. "Mister Ball, without going into detail, what happened
on the morning of May 11th this year. And yes, Sergeant, Mister Balls answer will not be included in evidence."
Me two bob solicitor in his cheap chequered suit pretended to fiddle with paper work, all the time hanging his head down without acknowledging me.
"Righto," I sighed, "I get it now, okay, I was woken up for about the hundreth time."
The Police Prosecutor stood up, "Objection!" He said in a tone of voice that startled the audience in the meagre country court room including me.
"Mister Ball," said the magistrate. " If you don't specifically answer the opening question. Have no doubt, then you are wasting the courts time
and I may, HOLD YOU IN CONTEMPT."
I was stumped here. "Err, strewth, I saw a dog when I got up ripping into me free range hens. I had me Lithgow, so I shot it."
A woman, Wendy, my neighbour, the owner of the dog started weeping in the back second row. Her younger druggy boyfriend hugged her saying, "It'll be
alright, he's going down."
My solicitor finally stood up, still looking down "Explain to the court what a Lithgow is."
"Umm, its a twenty two mate, me dads old rifle from the sixties."
He said, "Whats a twenty two?"
I replied, "jeez, thought everyone knew what a twenny two is." I smiled around the courtroom. No one returned a smile. "Mate. it's a point two two
calibre. You know, small bullet, good for rabbits and rats."
"Right." said my solicitor in a quiet tone. "How many bullets does the rifle shoot."
"One." I offered in a surprised voice looking around."
"So, you shot the female dog with one shot?"
My learned friend then asked me, "If the gun is for rabbits and rats, as you say, why did you shoot the dog?"
Well,,, mate,,,,I thought. I leaned back in me witness chair. Rolled my head around. "Because it was killing me chooks! Whose side are you on
Now the Police Prosecutor and that R.S.P.C.A. mongrel were smiling. The Magistrate stared blankly to the back of the courtroom.
The chequer suited man said, "Were did you aim."
"At the dog!!!"
"Where did the bullet hit?"
"Dunno exactly. Think in the guts, as I heard a thump after me shot and the wretched thing ran around squealing then took off down the back into the
"What happened then?" Asked my non committed solicitor.
"I heard what I think was a big dog fight as there was a lot of barking yelping and growling commin from the back hill."
"What did you do then." Now the paid man was looking at me.
"Ran down to me chooks with the missus."
"What did you see?"
I replied in a matter of fact way, "Three dead hens, dead rooster and six of me layers in the roost. No eggs by the way."
"Alright Mister Ball, you say you might have shot the dog in the guts. Why didn't you shoot it in the head?"
Sitting up a bit more rigid now I answered. "Mate, it had a chook in its' mouth, so I shot where I could stop it. Can't aim for a shaking head.
Sorry about the dog but I'm sick of burying chooks."
"Objection!" The police prosecutor stood up. My solicitor sat down. "The defendant, Mister Ball, in this matter is again attempting to enter
evidence that is not, I repeat not, in context with the opening submission. Mister Ball said, 'I am sick of burying chooks.' Which leads evidence to
believe prior acts. This is one instance."
Well I'll be blowed. After the police prosecutor sat down. Me solicitor stood up. "Your worship." He said in an uplifted voice. "My client, Mister
Ball, is only clarifying that he was, and I quote, 'sick of burying chooks', which, in evidence can be permitted as Mister Ball was offering only the
fact that he was tired of burying the fowls and not offering the evidence that this particular dog caused the prior acts but, was simply saying, he
was tired of burying fowls, chickens, from what ever occurrence albeit, death be old age or disease."
My solicitor seated himself. The magistrate turned to me and asked, " Is this correct Mister Ball?"
I looked the presiding member straight in the eye, nodded and said, "Yeah, that'll be right yer worship, sir."
That old magistrate then said, staring at the police prosecutor, "I'll allow this evidence by Mister Ball. Sergeant prosecutor, may I remind you that
the matter before the court is in regard to an R.S.P.C.A. complaint against the defendant for the offence of 'Aggravated Cruelty to an Animal.'
Objections as I have granted to you in this regard for having Mister Ball give the facts do not extend to discounting personal experiences within
other areas where, in his knowledge, he states a fact. 'I am sick of burying chooks.' Granted, this does not relate to the said offence but, as
evidenced here. Mister Ball, for whatever reason, is sick of burying chickens."
I'm thinking that this was the turn of events. I now had more respect for my legal counsel and the magistrate. Then again I'm figuring that the
luncheon adjournment was about due and all had quite enough of the death of a dog that was a chook killer.
Now cut a long story short.
edit on 11-8-2018 by bally001 because: Mistooks
edit on 11-8-2018 by bally001 because: (no reason given)