Animal cruelty: Teens behind sickening possum attack
TWO teenagers have avoided a criminal conviction over a sickening attack on a possum at Airlie Beach.
Disturbing footage posted to social media captured Chatmongkol Norna, 19, snatching the possum from a tree and unleashing a flurry of punches on the defenceless animal.
His mate Connor Anthony Hard, 18, then joined in the attack, also hitting the possum while Norna continued to hold the animal by its tail.
"They've essentially bragged about what they have done then uploaded it to (social media) to share their conquest," police prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors said, labelling it a deliberate act of violence.
"The incident took about five to six minutes before the possum was thrown over the balcony."
Magistrate James Morton repeatedly questioned the pair on the reasoning behind their cruel actions, which had left the community in shock.
"What's to be gained in imposing pain on an animal?" Mr Morton said.
"You were both drunk, probably trying to show off but you've chosen to show off on a defenceless animal.
"People in the community do not want to see animals treated this way."
The attack was recorded and shared on Snapchat, gaining the attention of police.
Solicitor Steven Hayles said Norna, who attended Proserpine State High School, had since lost his job. "He's a young man who has already suffered, and he has also been subject to abuse on social media for his actions," Mr Hayles said.
Solicitor Antoinette Morton, for Hard, said her client had also faced a backlash since the June 21 incident.
The court heard both men had been evicted from their apartment, where the attack occurred. "There have been threats against their person," Mrs Morton said.
"(Hard) has become reclusive and withdrawn from his friendship group."
Mr Morton continued to question the men on their behaviour with both men left with very little to say.
"I was being stupid," Hard said.
Norna and Hard had no previous criminal history. They were each given a nine-month probation order with no convictions recorded.
"You're both very young men - no, you're boys. You haven't grown up yet," Mr Morton said.
"Don't pick on defenceless animals and grow up."