Robert John Knight
Robert John Knight

Charleville dog killer on parole after threatening ex-partner

A Charleville dog killer has been released with immediate parole after perverting justice by threatening his ex-partner and her child when she made a complaint about a breach of his domestic violence order.

Robert John Knight, 42, was previously sentenced by the Charleville District Court on March 17, 2020 after he violently and deliberately killed his partner’s dachshund, which was found with multiple stab wounds on the left side of its body with corresponding exit wounds on the right side.

Its jaw was fractured and septum damaged, Crown prosecutor Ron Swanwick told the District Court on February 16, 2021.

Mr Swanwick told the court that Knight told his partner the death was an accident and a sugar bowl dropped on the ‘c--t’, but the wounds showed otherwise.

He was then evicted from the family home about July 1 or 2, 2019.

Knight was found hiding under the bed in the house later that month and taken into custody.

The court heard while he was at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, Knight asked for a person’s phone number to be added to speed dial, but the name was a shortened version of the aggrieved's, which the offender passed off as a male name.

With these calls from July 27, 2019 to Jan 9, 2020, Knight made ‘persistent and manipulative’ calls for the aggrieved to withdraw her complaint, sign fake affidavits, and to deny everything if brought to court for trial, Mr Swanwick told the court.

Knight became angry when his victim refused.

Barrister Phillip Hardcastle, appearing for ATSILS solicitor Laurie Parker, told the court that Knight was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and has lived on a disability pension for 10 years.

“It’s just a pity he didn’t get charged until just after he was released, and I don’t understand how Corrective Services didn’t pick up on his phone calls because most of the time they are listened to,” Mr Hardcastle said.

Judge Michael Burnett acknowledged it was ‘unfortunate’ these matters were only addressed a day before Knight was released on parole for his previous offending.

In Knight’s 2020 hearing for serious animal cruelty, Judge Michael Byrne said he had an ‘anti-social attitude’ and his criminal history did him no favours.

“When I read your criminal history and His Honour’s remarks, I absolutely agree with every word,” Judge Burnett said.

Knight pleaded guilty to both counts on his indictment: contravening a DVO and attempting to pervert justice.

He also pleaded guilty to the summary offence of calling approved telephone number and request conference call to someone else.

Judge Burnett gave him a 21 month prison sentence with immediate eligibility for parole, with a conviction automatically recorded.

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