Jail sentence for filming torture of kangaroo to be appealed

A man who filmed and encouraged a friend to brutally torture and kill a kangaroo that had been hit and injured by his vehicle was sentenced on Tuesday to 20 months’ jail with 15 months to be served without parole. 

Kyle Berryman, 21, of Carcoar Road, Spring Hill, was sentenced in Orange Local Court but was released later that day on conditional bail after launching a severity appeal, which is to be mentioned during the Orange District Court sitting on March 5.

Berryman was 20 years old when he and co-accused Samuel Woods were driving through a property at Tomingley on August 14 and 15, 2016, and hit an eastern grey kangaroo.

When his case came up for a hearing last year Berryman pleaded guilty to filming the animal being tortured and being killed, and posting videos and an image to Snapchat.

Woods has also pleaded guilty but is yet be be sentenced.

Magistrate David Day said there was no indication of substance abuse and Berryman had no prior convictions, was employed, and there was little likelihood of re-offending but only a jail sentence was appropriate.

“A community-based sentence is not sending the right message to the community,” Mr Day said.

“He’s an ideal vehicle [to show] that this behaviour is not on at all, the community will not accept any counselling of gratuitous violence by Mr Woods against a helpless animal which no doubt was in shock and terror having been hit by the vehicle.

“While being remorseful, he does not understand the consequences of his conduct.”

Mr Day said the first Snapchat video opened with footage of a kangaroo with a knife embedded in the top of its head and Berryman was heard saying, “you alright mate?” followed by laughter before the knife was pulled out and Berryman was heard to say “go again, go again, quick,”.

Footage also showed a knife being thrown at the kangaroo, which was holding its head up.

The final image was of the co-accused, holding a limp kangaroo which had a significant amount of blood on its head.

Solicitor Ben Tonkin said Berryman grew up on a farm and his parents are disappointed in him.

“He was not the person who was laying violence upon the kangaroo, [so] I would submit that its hard for [him] to take responsibility for the [action or conduct of the crime],” Mr Tonkin said.