HEAVY FINE: Gregory Sellars leaves court after being charged with animal cruelty and a breach of a court order.
HEAVY FINE: Gregory Sellars leaves court after being charged with animal cruelty and a breach of a court order. Ross Irby

Graveyard tryst and RSPCA offences in bizarre court case

MALNOURISHED dogs infested with mites were seized by the RSPCA and their owner Gregory Sellars charged with animal neglect offences.

But eyebrows were raised a few weeks later when police, in an entirely unrelated matter, found Sellars naked late at night in a graveyard frolic with a woman.

The scene of the romantic tryst was discovered when lights from curious police officers illuminated the gravestones at Laidley cemetery just after 11pm.

Details emerged before Ipswich Magistrates Court, with 42-year-old Sellars admitting to a string of RSPCA and police charges.

Gregory Edward Sellars, of Mount Marrow, pleaded guilty to more than a dozen offences under the Animal Care and Protection Act including failing to provide treatment; failing to provide food and water; and failing to provide appropriate living conditions to dogs at his Schumanns Rd property between December 19 last year 2018 and January 9 this year.

In agreed facts put by prosecutor Xuan Huynh, RSPCA officers went to the rural property in November to investigate a report of about 12 underfed dogs.

Sellars had five cattle dogs that were in reasonable condition but admitted he chained the dogs to a ute and under cover of the house whenever he was not home.

He denied any dogs had recently died and agreed to build enclosures for the dogs.

But work commitments and a motor bike accident delayed the work.

In December, two of his dogs were transferred to the RSPCA from the Ipswich pound after not being reclaimed.

One was put down due to severe arthritis, a skin condition, and a lymph node disease. The second dog was returned to good health and found a new home.

Sellars was also the owner of American staffies and while living at another house left two of them and three puppies behind. The animals were described as being "underweight, filthy, and covered in fleas".

The dogs had bloated bellies indicating worm infestations.

Two dogs were chained with no access to food or clean water. All dogs and puppies tested positive to hookworm infestation.

Magistrate Tracy Mossop said the vet bill for the care and treatment of his dogs and pups was $9941 and the RSPCA sought $1000 in legal costs.

Ms Mossop said the public nuisance offence related to an incident in December when Sellars was yelling and swearing in a public carpark.

She noted that he'd been found partially clothed with a woman (in breach of a court order) in a cemetery.

Sellars was convicted of the RSPCA offences and sentenced to three months in jail on each charge, suspended for 12 months.

Sellars is subject to a Prohibition Order that stops him having any animals not approved by the RSPCA. He was ordered to pay $5000 to the RSPCA.



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