Convicted puppy-stealer says he should be 'credited'
A MAN who stole five dogs before claiming they had died from an illness said he should be "credited for doing the right thing," a court has heard.
Bradley Scott Morgan - who remains in custody over a separate offence - appeared at Coffs Harbour Local Court today via audio visual link for stealing the three puppies and two adult dogs.
A grey-haired, balding Morgan was seen using a walking stick before sitting down and awaiting his sentence from Magistrate Ian Rodgers.
According to the police facts, in 2019 Morgan was staying at a high school friend's pig farm in Warren when the friend suffered a stroke while visiting his daughter on the Central Coast.
He was then hospitalised in Gosford for several days.
The facts then state Morgan, who has an extensive criminal history, took off in his car with five of the dogs on October 6, heading towards Coffs Harbour.
He was stopped by police at Coonabarabran but was let go after officers inspected the dogs and believed they were in good health, it was heard.
It was when he reached Coffs Harbour that Morgan was arrested by police for stealing the dogs, however the dogs were no longer present.
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The defence however told the court that Morgan, who had been asked to look after the animals, had found himself short of funds while his friend was in hospital.
Morgan further claimed through his lawyer that he left with the five dogs after they had contracted the potentially fatal parvovirus from the pig farm.
When asked of the whereabouts of the pets, Morgan told his lawyer he had buried them after they died of the illness.
When handing down a sentence, Magistrate Rodgers accepted Morgan's version of events but noted that those details were not contained in the police facts tendered to the court.
"It's not in the facts but I've been told they died of an illness they contracted at the property," he said.
Magistrate Rodgers took into account Morgan's "lengthy" criminal history which included dishonesty offences, but said the fresh offences were toward the lower end of the scale of objective seriousness.
"Of course, stealing a dog from an owner can be incredibly stressful to the owner of that dog," Magistrate Rodgers told the court.
Morgan was sentenced to a 9-month Community Corrections Order under the conditions that he must not commit another offence and must return to the court if called upon.
"Bless you," Morgan said to the magistrate before leaving.