A 22-year-old woman will have to pay $200 to a homeless man for whacking his dog over the head with a stick.
The dog was left with a small cut on its head. It was not taken for veterinary treatment.
Christchurch District Court Judge Alistair Garland, who dealt with the case today, said he presumed the owner could not afford the medical costs.
After Nadine Clements pleaded guilty to the charge of ill-treating the dog at Bethlehem in Tauranga City, the court was told that the homeless man was a relative of hers.
Clements lived in Tauranga when the incident happened in December, but has since moved to Christchurch.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Neil Williams said that Clements and her partner had gone to a supermarket carpark about 11.45pm on December 16.
The homeless man, who lives in his car across the road from the supermarket, was walking his pit bull dog.
Clements’ partner yelled at abuse at him, and the victim replied. Clements and the co-offender then picked up stakes and the police said the partner assaulted the victim – he is being dealt with separately.
Clements struck the dog on the head with the stake, causing a small cut. She told police she did it because she was scared of dogs.
Defence counsel Alister James said the dog had got involved in the altercation to protect its owner.
Judge Garland said Clements and her partner had caused the confrontation. “The dog did suffer an injury and I am sure the owner was upset about that,” he said.
Mr James said Clements had no previous convictions, apart from one for careless driving. She was unemployed but was trying to find work.
The judge ordered Clements to pay $200 to the homeless man as emotional harm reparations.