A tearful Brenda Marney has told Forster Local Court earlier today, Thursday, December 5 she hates cruelty to animals.
The seventy-four-year-old was appearing before magistrate Ross Hudson for sentencing after pleading guilty to six charges on Wednesday, December 4 including cruelty to a pelican and magpie, failing to provide adequate veterinary treatment, not having a licence to keep wildlife and illegally possessing protected animals.
Taking into consideration the 84 days spent in jail, Magistrate Hudson gave Ms Marney two community corrections orders and two conditional release orders and two conditional release orders without conviction for a 12 month period.
At the same time Ms Marney has been ordered to attend Community Corrections in Taree for a mental health assessment and is not allowed to have contact with any animal for the next 12 months.
Mr Hudson said he could not find any evidence, beyond reasonable doubt, an injured magpie located in Ms Marney's Tuncurry home had been deliberately tortured by having its beak removed.
"It could have been historical," he said.
However, he questioned her reasoning for placing an injured pelican in the boot of her vehicle and slamming the door shut on the bird's wing.
"Ms Marney failed to exercise appropriate care by driving around for some time with the injured bird," Mr Hudson said.
According to documents tendered by a local vet by defence lawyer, Roland Day, Ms Marney traditionally draped a sheet over the back seat of her vehicle before placing the animal inside.
"She claimed she was being harassed by young people in the skate park," Mr Day told the court.
Ms Marney refused offers of assistance from members of the public to remove a fish hook from the pelican.
However, Ms Marney told the court that animals were the love of her life, while husband Charles said his wife spent many hours a day looking for and treating injured animals.
Seventy-eight-year-old Mr Marney, who earlier pleaded guilty to not having a licence to keep wildlife, was given a six month conditional release order.
Magistrate Hudson believed Mr Marney had been adequately punished for his offence, which he believed was a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of qualifications needed to become a qualified animal carer.
Mr Marney had believed a FAWNA course undertaken in Port Macquarie in 2017-18 was adequate qualification to care for injured animals, and that Ms Marney could work as his proxy.