Australia

Woman jailed for dog’s ‘disturbing’ death

A transgender woman slit the throat of her ex-partner’s pet dog after the former lover refused to pay for her gender reassignment operation, a court has heard.Olivia Sindel cut through 13-year-old Rocky’s neck with a kitchen knife and suspended it by his hind legs to ensure he bled out during an argument in Sydney’s inner…

A transgender woman slit the throat of her ex-partner’s pet dog after the former lover refused to pay for her gender reassignment operation, a court has heard.

Olivia Sindel cut through 13-year-old Rocky’s neck with a kitchen knife and suspended it by his hind legs to ensure he bled out during an argument in Sydney’s inner west in the early hours of September 5 this year.

Sindel, 24, collapsed out of view of the video link she appeared on in Central Local Court as she was handed a maximum two-year jail term on Tuesday.

Magistrate Margaret Quinn had spoken of the need to impose a sentence reflecting the serious nature of the offence, balanced with the complexities of Sindel’s ongoing body dysphoria, mental health issues and substance abuse.

The court heard Sindel, who was also charged under her birth name Oliver, had an “unattractive” criminal record “littered with serious matters of violence”.

“It’s a disturbing matter this, and it seems she is becoming increasingly more violent,” Ms Quinn said.

Rocky, an English Staffordshire bull terrier, was rushed to a nearby vet for surgery, where he died.

His owner, Louise Winters, had desperately tried to stem the bleeding in her Marrickville home having appealed for neighbours to call police about 1.30am.

Ms Winters had taken out a two-year apprehended violence order against her former lover, after a “cycle” of physical abuse and intimidation from Sindel, court documents reveal.

However, the two had spent the day together on September 4 at her Cahill Place home before an argument about Sindel’s desire for surgery turned horrifically violent.

Courts documents state Sindel had been unable to afford the surgery, a situation that had caused significant anguish and mental health issues.

About 12.30am on September 5, Sindel called her father and threatened to “kill your family” if he didn’t stump up the cash for her operation.

Her threats unsuccessful and increasingly erratic, she then demanded Ms Winters giver her the money but was again refused.

So Sindel walked over to where Rocky was sleeping, armed with a small blue-handled kitchen knife.

When the dog raised his head for a pat, she took off his collar and slashed across his neck – creating a 10cm-wide wound from which blood began gushing.

She held him up by his hind legs to bleed him out.

Court documents reveal Sindel soon “realised” what she had done and tried to help the unconscious pet but fled before police arrived, and was arrested the next day on Oxford St about 4.20pm.

Sindel had returned to Ms Winters’ home earlier that morning to find the locks changed.

“You murdered our dog and you murdered our love. Leave!” Ms Winters cried.

Sindel pleaded charged in court to torture, beating and causing death to an animal, stalking/intimidation, contravening an AVO in relation to Ms Winters, and using a carriage service to menace or harass her father.

The court heard Sindel had been moved from prison to prison since her arrest and had been the victim of assault in the yard of Silverwater jail.

Her lawyer said she has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which explained her “reckless, selfdestructing behaviour”, and had displayed remorse for killing the pet she was “fond of”.

In the past, Sindel had served jail time for charges including larceny, possession of weapons and domestic incidents, Ms Quinn said, who added the previous sentences had not been of “assistance to her”.

The effectively homeless woman will be eligible for parole in September 2021, and must undertake counselling for her mental health and drug and alcohol addictions.

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