31 July 2020

Jail sentence for man who killed kangaroos at Tura Beach

| Michael Weaver
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An eastern grey kangaroo.

An eastern grey kangaroo. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A Goulburn man who was a passenger in the vehicle that was driven to deliberately kill 21 eastern grey kangaroos at Tura Beach in September 2019 was jailed for 20 months today with a non-parole period of 12 months.

The Queanbeyan Local Court heard that Ashley Sorenson, 33, was morally culpable for killing the kangaroos while another man, 20-year-old Nathan Sangar, drove the ACT-plated ute during the attack.

The court also heard multiple letters had been received by the registrar from angry members of the community.

Sorenson, a former asbestos removalist and father of four, had recently moved to the NSW South Coast and was trying to make new friends by carrying out an act that Magistrate Roger Clisdell labelled “cold-blooded”.

A non-parole period of 12 months was set after he pleaded guilty to the charge of torturing, beating and causing the death of an animal.

READ ALSO Second person charged over kangaroo deaths at Tura Beach

Sorenson had encouraged Sangar to run down the kangaroos between 10:30 pm and 11:30 pm on 28 September 2019. Police were called to Dress Circle and Headland Drive, Tura Beach, north of Merimbula, after reports of multiple dead kangaroos on the road.

Police were forced to euthanise several kangaroos the morning after the attack, which killed two newborn joeys and left dead and dying kangaroos strewn throughout the town.

The court also heard that Sorenson had later sent a text message to Sangar asking, “What’s the grand total?”

Dead kangaroos

The dead kangaroos that were run over at Tura Beach. Photo: Deborah Evans.

His lawyer, Megan North, argued that her client had moved to the South Coast to start afresh and that he was remorseful for his actions. He had also been drinking alcohol on the night of the attack.

However, the police prosecutor told the court that Sorenson engaged in the act for the delight of causing pain to otherwise tame animals.

Sanger, 20, last year also pleaded guilty to torture, beat and death of an animal for which the maximum sentence is five years’ imprisonment.

However, Sanger has avoided jail time and received a two-year intensive corrections order and was ordered to serve 500 hours of community service for his role in the deaths of the eastern grey kangaroos.

A third man, who was in the backseat of the vehicle, was not charged.

“The occupants of the vehicle showed little or no concern for the animals that were tortured and killed,” said Magistrate Clisdell in handing down the sentence to Sorenson.

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