Question: what is human slime?
Meet Luke Kevin Dempster.
All too often we awake to news that assaults every decent fibre in ordinary people. We walk the streets mostly unaware that certain creatures are among us , or even exist. Sometimes words fail, a fitting descriptor has yet to be invented. Except these two words—”jailhouse justice!” Warning: This story contains content that may be distressing for some readers.
A 26-year-old Perth man has been sentenced to two years in prison for a string of “monstrous” animal cruelty offences — including bashing a kangaroo with knuckle dusters and torturing a chicken — as well as assault, firearms and drug offences. Luke Kevin Dempster had pleaded guilty in the Joondalup Magistrate’s Court to a dozen charges. He was charged after police obtained two videos and a Snapchat video of kangaroos and a chicken being tortured.
Luke Kevin Dempster jailed for ‘monstrous’ animal cruelty to kangaroos, chicken
One of the videos, from May, showed a kangaroo being shot, causing an eyeball to pop out.
The court heard that Dempster punched the kangaroo to the head 11 times while wearing a knuckle duster.
A Snapchat video taken by Dempster showed a kangaroo being stabbed, while another depicted a chicken running about while it was on fire.
The court heard accelerant was used on the chicken.
People could be heard laughing in the videos.
“It will be some time before I get these videos out my head,” Magistrate Gregory Benn said.
Attacks ‘vicious, violent, protracted’
The magistrate said Dempster gained “obvious pleasure” from the “violent, vicious, protracted” events, in which he actively participated.
The magistrate referred to the “monstrosity of the actions”, describing how Dempster had laughed, filmed the events and then kept the videos.
Magistrate Benn said while Dempster had pleaded guilty at an early stage, he had refused to assist police in their investigations and help identify others involved.
Along with the animal cruelty charges, Dempster also pleaded guilty to charges of assault, discharging a firearm and drugs offences.
The court heard that he was driving a vehicle in the Perth suburb of Craigie when a passenger fired a “gel blaster” gun at three separate victims.
One of the victims was accompanied by his eight-year-old son.
The gel gun has not been found and the person who fired it has not been identified.
Mr Benn said Dempster was “instrumental” in the offences.
A search of Dempster’s home had turned up cannabis and a smoking implement.
Dempster ‘wanted to be part of gang’
Defence lawyer Stephen Preece told the court his client could not remember hitting the kangaroo because he was intoxicated at the time.
He said Dempster had shown “deep embarrassment and regret” as a result of his actions, which he had only undertaken in order to be accepted by a gang.
But the gang had bashed him and expelled him in the wake of the publicity.
He told the court that Dempster was now “cut off from them in no uncertain terms”.
Mr Preece said Dempster’s reluctance to assist police was a result of fear of retribution from gang members.
He called for the magistrate to refrain from imposing a prison sentence, as his client had a full-time job, a supportive family and a child to support, and was dealing with alcohol and drug issues.
The court heard Dempster had also donated money to an animal welfare group.
But Mr Benn said there was a need for general deterrence and immediate imprisonment was required.
Dempster will be eligible for parole.
Community left in shock
National vice president of the Animal Justice Party, Katrina Love, welcomed the sentence.
“The community in general is shocked by the degree of aggravated inflicting of pain and suffering for pleasure and for entertainment, basically,” she said.
“I think it’s good to see a jail term imposed, when you take into consideration the extended pain and suffering and terror that the animals must have gone through.
“It’s hard to imagine there would be a maximum sentence that one would think, you know, was adequate.
“But it kind of sets a precedent, it does send some kind of message and I think it’s in line with what the community would expect.”