Penalties in the long-running animal cruelty cases against Spirit of Tasmania operator TT-Line and former Australian polo captain Andrew Williams will finally be handed down in the Burnie Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday afternoon.
It comes almost five years after the 16 horses died on an overnight crossing from Devonport to Melbourne in 2018, with multiple adjournments and delays in court proceedings in the interim.
TT-Line has been found guilty of 28 counts of transporting horses across Bass Strait and not ensuring they were individually stalled and one count of using management likely to result in unreasonable pain and suffering to animals.
Andrew Williams has been found guilty of the same animal management offence and 16 counts of failing to ensure the horses were individually stalled.
TT-Line has appealed the guilty verdict to the Supreme Court of Tasmania, without even knowing the penalty, but Magistrate Leanne Topfer has said she won’t wait for the outcome of the appeal due to the huge public interest in the case, and will sentence today.
In a separate action, Andrew Williams also has a case pending against TT-Line in the Victorian Supreme Court.