The man who fatally cut the throats of six miniature show horses in Australia has had his bail revoked as he awaits sentencing in a month.
Julie and Melvyn Jackson lost the animals in December last year in what Mrs Jackson described as a blood-fueled massacre.
She told the Adelaide District court in an emotional victim impact statement that she would never recover from the loss of the animals slaughtered by 50-year-old Michael Martin John O’Connell, of Middleton.
“I cannot face my own stables,” she said.
“The walls were scrubbed but they bleed still, as if they were never cleaned.
“I see [the horses] every night when I close my eyes. It’s now my living nightmare; it’s now my life,” she said.
“My life has been forever impacted, my heart forever broken.”
She described the horses as part of the family.
Each had their own “beautiful, loving” individual personalities, she said.
“Our horses died at the hands of a callous and cowardly killer when they should have been safe in their stables.”
The two colts and four fillies, all aged around two, had their throats cut in their stables at Clayton Bay, between Finnis and Goolwa.
Last March, O’Connell appeared in the Victor Harbor Magistrates Court, where he admitted a single count of property damage – a charge intended to cover all six horses and a fence.
The charge carries heavier penalties than animal cruelty counts.
The Adelaide District Court heard yesterday that O’Connell was intoxicated at the time of the offending.
He was motivated by a $A37,000 debt he believed he was owed by the Jacksons relating to work carried out on their home.
Mrs Jackson said she would have been more than happy to pay O’Connell had he finished the renovation job properly.
The Jacksons have since reached a civil settlement with O’Connell over the loss of the horses, according to the Courier Mail.
It reports that the Jacksons received $A60,000 for the horses, plus $A15,000 in exemplary damages.
O’Connell had written a letter of apology to the Jacksons, which the couple had refused to accept.
In it, he described the trouble in his business and marriage resulting from the offending.
“I didn’t think that this would have changed everybody’s life so much,” he wrote.
He asked for their forgiveness for his “horrible sins”.