A man who was a passenger in a ute when it mowed down and killed a mob of kangaroos on the NSW south coast has been jailed for at least 12 months for the “despicable” act.
Ashley Sorenson was in the passenger seat of the Mazda ute when 21 eastern grey kangaroos were run down at Tura Beach in September 2019.
Sorenson, 34, on Friday received a maximum sentence of 20 months’ prison at Queanbeyan local court with a minimum term of 12 months for animal cruelty, including torture.
He was one of two men in the car, which was later found by police with a heavily dented front, covered in blood and kangaroo fur.
Sorenson and Nathan Sanger, who was then 18, were at a local club drinking before they went on the rampage.
While the driver, Sanger, was found to be mainly culpable, the court heard Sorenson egged him on.
He occasionally grabbed the steering wheel of the ute from Sanger to run into more kangaroos.
“Encouragement came from the accused to start the carnage,” magistrate Roger Clisdell told the court.
He described Sorenson’s behaviour as a disgrace and despicable.
“This was a decision he made cold-bloodedly,” Clisdell said. “Once the bloodlust started it was difficult to stop.”
Locals awoke to find the aftermath of the killing spree, leaving them traumatised, with police having to euthanise the surviving kangaroos.
The court heard Sorenson moved to the coast to start afresh after a history of violence.
“He was trying to make new friends,” his lawyer said.
Co-accused Sanger was found guilty of the majority of the killings in 2019 and handed a two-year jail term to be served as a community sentence.
Sorenson will be eligible for release in late July 2021.