Gary the goat has his day in court


Gary the goat has his day in court

Peter Bodkin
The Daily Telegraph
January 23, 20133:15PM

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Gary the goat with Jimbo Bazoobi / Pic: John Grainger Source: The Daily Telegraph

Gary the goat with Jimbo Bazoobi / Pic: John Grainger Source: The Daily Telegraph

WHEN police nabbed Gary the Goat for lunching on a city flower bed, they had no idea they had bitten off more than they could chew.

Gary sat calmly outside the Downing Centre Local Court in a rainbow hat this morning as his owner, comedian James “Jimbo” Bazoobi, won his fight against $440 in fines he was issued for damaging vegetation last year.

Mr Bazoobi, was handed the ticket a few days after his travel companion decided to snack on some flowers from a garden bed outside the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay on August 22.

But today his lawyer Paul McGirr argued police had the wrong defendant because it was Gary – not the man who was fined – who was responsible for eating the plants.

“The liability (for the fine) attaches to a person – but Gary’s not a person,” he told magistrate Carolyn Barkell.

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Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Rick Mansley said Mr Bazoobi was rightly fined because he knew Gary was hungry and had been reckless letting him near the flowers.

“Maybe we should just have an argument on whether Jimbo or Gary the Goat should be in the dock,” he said.

Mr Bazoobi told the police who dragged his goat from the flower bed that he had brought his companion down to the park because he needed to eat.

But Mr Girr said his client couldn’t have known what Gary was about to do when he started chewing on the plants.

“We’re not here to guess about what Gary might have had whispered in his goat ear,” he said.

Ms Barkell said it was clear Gary had done more damage than “just eating the grass” during the incident, but there was no way Mr Bazoobi could have predicted what the animal would do.

“The person has no control over what the goat might eat … he might have eaten an ice-cream that fell on the ground,” she said as she dismissed the fine.

The magistrate said the fine never should have been issued and dismissed the case, although she refused to order the police to pay Mr Bazoobi’s legal costs.

Outside the court, Mr Bazoobi told the throng of waiting media he was happy that Gary’s name had now been cleared.

“I just think there’s so many laws and regulations in Australia which are just an abuse of commonsense,” he said.

“This is actually an abuse of the laws of nature – a goat eating grass. I’m a comedian, I can come up with jokes, but it’s pretty hard to compete with the cops coming out with this stuff.”

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