19 Jul 2019

Man pleads not guilty to stabbing miniature horse Star

11:02 am on 19 July 2019

The man accused of stabbing a miniature horse near Dunedin earlier this year has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Miniature horse Star was stabbed in Otago

Photo: Supplied

The accused has kept interim name suppression but will remain behind bars until his next court appearance on 20 September.

He appeared in the Dunedin District Court briefly this morning where a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf by his lawyer. He elected trial by jury.

The man was arrested last month and charged with wilfully ill-treating Star, the 10-year-old miniature horse, by stabbing him, causing him to die.

In February Star was found with more than 40 stab wounds still tethered to a fence in the rural town of Waitati, just north of Dunedin.

Police believed the attack took place sometime around midnight on 18 February.

The horse later died of his injuries.

The accused's lawyer, Deborah Henderson, applied for continuation of interim name suppression on the basis his fair trial rights would be prejudiced if he was to be identified.

The accused had also raised concerns about the impact on his child if he were to be publicly linked to the accusation, she said.

Judge Kevin Phillips said he would make a determination on continued name suppression at the man's next court appearance.