Clydesdale attacker avoids jail after dangerous 'prank'
A YOUNG man who doused two horses with a fire extinguisher will not have convictions for assault, wilful damage, or animal cruelty permanently recorded.
Giobi Sydney Geiger will have to pay over $4000 in fines and restitution, and complete 120 hours of community service for an act Magistrate Phillipa Beckinsale described as "stupid".
The 20-year-old man pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court last week to two charges of animal cruelty, one of assault, and one of wilful damage after spraying Rockhampton's well-known Clydesdales with fire extinguisher powder.
The case was adjourned over the weekend to allow Ms Beckinsale to decide whether Geiger intentionally fired the substance at the horses or was too intoxicated to see them, as claimed by defence solicitor Allan Grant.
In delivering her verdict today, Ms Beckinsale said Geiger presented as an "immature young man" who had not intended to harm the horses, but did deliberately fire the extinguisher.
The court heard Geiger had drunk up to 14 cans of rum between 7pm and 9pm on January 5, when he and a friend went for a drive around Rockhampton's nightclub precinct.
When they found the Zodiac Nightclub closed, they drove down past the Oxford Hotel where Geiger noticed some girls walking on the street.
Geiger had claimed he let the extinguisher off later, after the car drove onto Quay St, to get the attention of women he said were crossing the road in the direction of the bridge.
Ms Beckinsale said she found it "unlikely" that a drunk Geiger would notice these women, but not see the brightly-lit carriage pulled by the horses.
She said it was also unlikely that the extinguisher could be sprayed just as the car passed the horses heads.
Geiger could have faced prison time for the crimes, and Ms Beckinsale warned he may well have ended up behind bars were it not for the horses' calm natures and owner Steven May's skilled horsemanship.
"The consequences could have been horrific," she said.
Geiger also spoke to media outside court, offering a public apology for his actions.
He said the outcome "was better than what I expected".
"I was actually expecting jail time to be honest and a bigger fine," Geiger said.
"I'm very sorry for everything that's happened. I really didn't want it to pan out like that, but it's all over and done now.
"I am actually very remorseful."
Geiger said he would also be visiting Mr May's stables to help clean them as part of his apology.