A man who tried to strangle a pet goat in a rage because he couldn't find his house keys has been sentenced to community detention.

Mathew Batt, 26, a Westport fisherman, was yesterday sentenced to four months' community detention, 200 hours community work,

12 months supervision and disqualified from driving for 15 months after he flew into a rage in November 2010.

He pleaded guilty to breaching the Medicines Act, three charges of threatening speech, and charges of animal cruelty, male assaults female and driving while suspended.


Westport District Court was told that Batt became angry at losing his house keys and started smashing windows.

He was so loud and abusive that neighbours called the police.

Batt then went to his mother's house where he was "threatening and irrational".

In an enraged state he began strangling the pet goat and smashed its head against a wall. Fortunately, he released the goat before more harm was done.

Turning his attention to his sister, he threw a glass at her, showering her in glass, pushed her to the ground and started punching her.

His grandmother sprayed him with oven cleaner in an effort to subdue him. He then began smashing and punching objects around the property.

"Your behaviour is a disgrace, but there's more to this than meets the eye," said Judge Raoul Neave.

A previous head injury didn't account for Batt's violence. Rather, it reflected an unstable upbringing, coupled with substance abuse and personality traits.


Whether he deserved it or not, Batt had been forgiven by his sister and grandmother.