A man has appeared in court charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
A man has appeared in court charged with aggravated animal cruelty. John Gass /TWE080413generic1

'He nearly clubbed animal to death': Magistrate refuses bail

A BRUNSWICK Heads man has been remanded in custody after allegedly beating his dog to the brink of death.

Robert Kim Mitchell, 51, faced Tweed Heads Local Court via video link on Wednesday, charged with aggravated cruelty on an animal.

His solicitor, Philip Mulheron, lodged a not guilty plea to the charge, which relates to an incident at Brunswick Heads between November 10 and 15.

Mr Mitchell has been accused of hitting his dog, which later died, multiple times.

Mr Mulheron said while his client did strike the dog, he believed it was necessary at the time and was not an act of cruelty.

"It was not cruelty for the sake of cruelty," Mr Mulheron said.

Magistrate Michael Dakin challenged this, based on the strength of the allegations.

"No, I don't agree with that," Mr Dakin said.

"He nearly clubbed the animal to death.

"Hitting it three times... if that's not aggravated cruelty, then I don't know what is."

Mr Mulheron said the accused was on a disability pension and didn't have access to weapons.

He urged Mr Dakin release his client, who has been living in a tent and has resided in Brunswick Heads for the past six years, on bail.

"He doesn't have access to guns, knives or poisons," Mr Mulheron said.

"He hit the dog three times.

"He believes what he did was necessary."

Mr Mulheron did not expand in detail as to why his client believed this was the case, but said Mr Mitchell "loved the dog".

"He can report to police as required," he said.

Mr Mulheron said his client had shown care for the dog by remaining with it until it passed away.

Prosecutor Bill Chaffey argued Mr Mitchell would pose a flight risk and said it was not reasonable to grant bail.

"He has no place of abode," Mr Chaffey said.

"It's a strong prosecution case and he (may) fail to appear."

Mr Dakin agreed there was a "strong case against Mr Mitchell" and conceded the facts "seem to be significant".

"I share the concerns of the prosecutor," Mr Dakin said.

"The primary concern is flight."

Mr Mitchell was remanded in custody and he is due to face Mullumbimby Local Court on Tuesday, December 19.



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