Prison for kangaroo bow and arrow shooter

injured_kangarooA Cruel and heartless hunter who shot four kangaroos with a high-powered bow will serve up to a year in prison.

Dressed in camouflage to stalk his prey on a Bundoora real estate development, Justin Stavropoulos, 27, of Thomastown, claimed to have hunted the roos for their meat, the Herald Sun reports.

But Heidelberg Magistrates' Court heard he left two of them alive - one with an arrow through its face and another with an arrow festering in its hind.

One of those animals later died after $4200 was spent on medical aid.

Magistrate Jennifer Grubissa convicted Stavropoulos of animal cruelty over the deaths of three kangaroos and maiming of another, and a charge of hunting a protected species.

Magistrate Grubissa said it was "unimaginable" he could not have foreseen the unkindness involved in shooting the roos, despite Stavropoulos's claim that he believed they were "rodents" that could be culled.

She said the injuries suffered by two of the kangaroos were "hideous" and that his disregard for the animals and separate incidents of hunting was "callous and calculated".

"This is not one single, isolated incident," she said.

Ms Grubissa said she had received several letters from citizens about the case, but could not factor them into any sentence.

Stavropoulos, who had previously worked as a personal care attendant and who had no prior criminal convictions, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and was ordered to serve a minimum of four months in jail before being suitable for parole.

The court heard Stavrodhpoulos had been subjected to widespread community reaction since the incidents in May and June.

Defence lawyer Peter Ward said Stavropoulos would appeal against the sentence.

Stavropoulos was released on bail and ordered to appear before the County Court on March 12, next year.

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