An Albion Park man who tried to ‘kid-nap’ a Barrack Heights goat named Gladys has failed to proffer a reason for his bizarre actions.
During his sentence hearing on Wednesday, defence lawyer Daryl Quirk said he could shed no more light on why his client, Benjamin Arthur Elphick, tried to steal the goat from her Barrack Avenue yard in the early hours of February 23 last year.
The court heard Gladys’ owner, Mitchell Wilmott, was woken by her bleating about 5.45am that morning to discover a man carrying the brown and white goat across the road, towards a parked car with an open boot.
Mr Wilmott yelled out to Elphick, causing him to drop the goat and run.
Mr Wilmott gave chase, first on foot, then in his car but couldn’t locate Elphick.
The court heard four other people remained in the parked getaway car.
Mr Wilmott later returned and asked them: "what are you doing around here? Who tried to steal my goat?".
One of the car’s occupants identified Elphick.
“We were with him,” the woman said. “He told us he was your friend.”
Mr Wilmott reported the matter to police, leading to Elphick’s arrest about two weeks later.
According to police, he declined to be interviewed about the attempted theft but laughed and shook his head when it was explained to him, saying “that’s not how it happened”.
In court on Wednesday, Mr Quirk acknowledged that the offence was a serious one, carrying a maximum of 14 years’ jail, but noted that Gladys had been returned unharmed to Mr Wilmott within a short space of time.
He said the reason behind Elphick’s behaviour remained a mystery.
“He doesn’t offer an explanation to police when he says ‘that’s not how it happened’….he tells me he was taking drugs at the time,” Mr Quirk said.
Elphick was sentenced to six months’ jail, backdated to his original incarceration date, meaning he has already served the time. He remains bail refused on serious driving matters.