A Maddingley man who took his pet ram to Canberra and slept rough with the Merino around the streets of Melbourne will find out his fate on Thursday.
Godwin Aquilina has appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court this morning (Tuesday) charged in relation to disturbing his Love Close neighbours with a megaphone.
Police told the court the action – leading up to 24 July 2018 – contravened a bail condition signed on July 18.
But Mr Aquilina said the dates on his paperwork had been crossed out and he understood the bail conditions took effect from October 5 that year.
Magistrate Letizia Torres agreed the dates caused confusion.
“I believed I was not on bail at the time, and this was against my legal right to protest,” Mr Aquilina told the court.
“This has been deliberately set up to give me harassment.
“They knew I had been all the way to Canberra.”
In 2016 Mr Aquilina protested on the lawn outside Parliament House along with his dog and 8-year-old pet ram ‘Jackie Chan’ (pictured). He had been calling for the sheep to be registered as a companion animal and be able to stay in his suburban home.
Senior Constable Richard Taylor told the court he saw Mr Aquilina sign the bail document at the Bacchus Marsh Police station on July 18.
“It was not our intent to stop him from protesting,” he said, “but we also have a duty of care to the neighbours.”
Fellow Love Close local Debra Bullock said Mr Aquilina had obtained a bus and for at least week leading up to the police incident, he had been using a megaphone as late as midnight.
She told the court that inside her home, 25m away, the noise came across as a droning sound, but outside the home it was “quite loud”.
“In the few days prior I was called a slut and a moll and told that my dogs were dangerous dogs,” she told the court.
“It was basically just ranting and raving.
“I couldn’t even understand how it could just go on for hours at a time with hardly any time to take a breath.
“It was directed in all directions – council, neighbours.
“He even comparted himself to Jesus Christ bleeding out.”
She told the court things came to a head when she knew she had to put her rubbish bins on the street and would have to walk past Mr Aquilina.
“I couldn’t take any more of the abuse,” Ms Bullock said.
Mr Aquilina, representing himself, told the court she had been recording him 24/7, which Ms Bullock denied.
“You continuously hand things into the police recording me,” he said.
Mr Aquilina also told the court he believed that Ms Bullock could hardly hear the megaphone inside her own home:
“I don’t believe it was unreasonable noise your honour.”
The accused also told Magistrate Torres that he had an acquired brain injury.
** The case is one of five matters involving Mr Aquilina being taken to Ballarat Magistrates Court this week.
A decision is expected to be made on Thursday.
** More to come **
** Got a story? Get in touch via the Moorabool Online Facebook page or drop us a line: email@example.com
Main image: Ballarat Magistrates Court