Douglas White leaves court after an appearance earlier this year. White pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing a crocodile from R
Douglas White leaves court after an appearance earlier this year. White pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing a crocodile from R

Rocky croc ?wthief jailed



THE croc refused to go quietly when Douglas White had thrown it over his shoulder and then scaled a 1.8m fence during a bizarre theft in Rockhampton earlier this year.

Yesterday, on the same day that Australians said an emotional farewell to Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, Rockhampton Magistrates Court heard that White??s body was scarred with scratch marks after he had stolen a 1.2m croc from the city zoo in March.

White, 24, was jailed for six months for the theft, which attracted international media attention at the time, after pleading guilty to this and a handful of separate charges.

Other details that emerged during his court appearance yesterday included:

?? White??s claim that he had extensive knowledge of animals, having previously worked at Rockhampton Zoo;

?? That he had been forced to get rid of the croc when his girlfriend told him it had to go;

?? The idea to steal the animal had occurred to him while he was drinking with friends; and

?? Efforts to gain $120 restitution for the croc had not been not enforced because White is in prison, on other matters, and has no means to make the payment.

Despite police claims the croc was sold, White told the court he had given the animal to a friend who returned it to a nearby lagoon a few days after the theft.

The animal still has not been found. Defence solicitor Joanne Madden said White had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse, despite recent efforts to break these habits.

She said the father-of-two had started smoking cannabis when he was 11 and had an anti-social personality disorder.

Magistrate Annette Hennessy said the theft of a crocodile was ??a significantly different situation?? to normal stealing charges.

She said it was a concern the croc had apparently been deliberately dumped in a lagoon area in the city.

??No-one wants to know there??s a croc running around in the swamp, which has been deliberately put there,?? Ms Hennessy said.

White also pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts of disqualified driving and one each of obstructing police and breaching bail.

He was also disqualified yesterday from driving for two years.

Earlier this month in the District Court in Rockhampton, White was jailed for two years, suspended after five months, for causing grievous bodily harm.

Yesterday??s sentence was to run concurrently with his existing prison term.



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