Fake ad lands dog-napper in court
THE unfortunate tale of Jasper the bulldog has finally come to an end after the man who took her fronted court.
Gordon Wilfred Laurie wasn't charged with removing the dog from her home, however he was brought before Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to answer to a charge of trespass.
Laurie claims he followed advice from a newspaper advert when he climbed into the Taylor family's yard on November 26 and pinched their beloved pet.
Unfortunately, the "free to good home" advertisement regarding Jasper was fake, but even if it hadn't been Laurie had no right to enter the Pialba property without permission.
Laurie yesterday pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to one count of trespass and was fined $250.
Like many other people, Laurie had read the malicious advertisement placed in the Chronicle classified saying the "free" purebred dog needed to be picked up as soon as possible.
But when he attended the Taylor family home, on Dover St that day, no one answered the door.
Laurie climbed a fence to enter the property and took Jasper away in the back of his ute.
When Scott Taylor arrived home to find Jasper missing, he and his family were devastated.
He told the Chronicle his two daughters had cried all night.
In court yesterday, prosecutor Sergeant Michael Quirk said Laurie had eventually surrendered Jasper to Maryborough police station and she was able to be returned to her happy rightful owners.
Magistrate Graeme Tatnell said Laurie had taken the wording on the advertisement "one step too far".
"Certainly the ad would've given him authority to knock on the door and talk to people," Mr Tatnell said.
"Not to go and take the dog."
Jasper was returned to her relieved family three days after she went missing.
Laurie had reportedly driven the pooch to Toowoomba, where he had given her to a friend as a present.
Mr Taylor described Jasper as being "just like one of his kids".
He said she had been abused as a puppy and as a result was reluctant to trust anyone other than her owners.