A man who sparked a nationwide manhunt after he shared disturbing footage of himself mowing down wild emus in his car has been jailed over the crime, after cruelly wiping out 10 of the large birds.
Jacob Macdonald appeared in court on Thursday where he was sentenced to 42 days in jail, according to Seven News, in relation to the incident which took place in September last year.
The 20-year-old, from Pinnaroo in South Australia, faced a number of charges including aggravated cruelty to animals, torment to animals and killing protected wildlife, along with several driving offences.
Handing down the sentence, magistrate Michael King told him: “You received pleasure from inflicting pain on defenceless animals.”
Macdonald first made headlines last year after the violent footage surfaced online, with the RSPCA issuing a national appeal for help tracking down the culprit shown in the video, which was also played in court today by the prosecution.
The court also heard that Macdonald and his defence team blamed the drought for his actions, claiming that the birds were a menace.
The video clip showed Macdonald laughing as he ploughed towards a group of emus that were frantically trying to escape his car. He could also be heard counting aloud as he hit each bird.
“F****ing emus,” the man can be heard saying. “This is f***ing great. Yes.”
Macdonald could also be heard praising himself when he struck each of the birds, saying: “I’ve got that one too … and that one.”
At the time the RSPCA issued a statement condemning the incident.
“The RSPCA, like many members of the community, has today been shocked and horrified by footage released on social media, showing a man who appears to be deliberately running down a mob of emus in his car,” a statement read.
Macdonald initially broke his silence last September, just days after the video sparked a huge online backlash, claiming the incident was “the biggest stuff-up” of his life.
“It was a mistake, a silly idea,” he told a reporter. “It’s not funny anymore. It was at the time but yeah, watched it a few more times and it lost its funniness.”