Sunday Territorian

Pizza shop owner belted dog

- Jason Walls

A Darwin pizza shop owner previously jailed for indecently exposing himself to two children outside Tennant Creek has returned to court after beating his dog with a belt.

Paul Anthony Farrugia, 38, was convicted in the Supreme Court in 2013 of showing the children a pornograph­ic film on his phone and indecent exposure.

The court heard Farrugia encountere­d the boy and girl at the Bill Allen Lookout where he showed them the video and exposed himself before asking the girl to do the same.

She refused and Farrugia asked both children to say “Aah”.

“I accept that the elder child interprete­d this to mean that you wanted her to fellate you,” sentencing judge Dean Mildren said at the time.

Both children refused before Farrugia drove off and they alerted a nearby maintenanc­e worker to what had happened and Farrugia was arrested later that day, telling police he had stopped to relieve himself.

Farrugia was jailed for a total of nine months, suspended after three months served.

Then on March 21 this year, he faced the Darwin Local

Court where he pleaded guilty to an offence of cruelty to his Kelpie cross, Lucy.

Prosecutor Jon Bortoli told the court Farrugia was at home in June 2021 when a neighbour saw him remove his belt and “strike the dog … several times to the head area”.

“The defendant was then observed to pick up the dog and throw it with force, the dog was heard to be yelping and squealing during this time,” he said.

Representi­ng himself, Farrugia said he was “very remorseful” in what happened.

In convicting Farrugia and fining him $800, judge Tanya Fong Lim also barred him from owning another pet for 12 months.

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