A man who bit the head off a live rat and posted a video of the incident to Facebook has been sentenced in Brisbane Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to inflicting unnecessary pain on the animal.
When questioned outside court, Matthew Maloney, 25, remarked that he didn’t think his behaviour was “that bad”. In contrast, Magistrate Suzette Coates described him as follows:
“rabid, narcissistic [and] attention-seeking”.
Maloney was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and was also ordered to pay court costs of $90 and banned from owning an animal for three years.
In the video, which was posted to his “Mad Matts vids” Facebook page, Maloney is seen bursting into a room, grabbing a small, white rat, biting the animal’s head off and swallowing it.
After PETA supporters and other troubled citizens raised concerns about the horrifying video, Maloney posted comments on Facebook labelling compassionate objectors “a bunch of sissies” who needed to “accept the food chain”. The RSPCA later raided Maloney’s home and seized 17 rats and a snake.
When asked whether he agreed with Ms Coates’ assessment of his actions as “narcissistic”, Maloney responded, “Nah, it’s all good”.
The magistrate also referred to Maloney as a “silly idiot”.
Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals often go on to commit violent acts against fellow humans.
A study by Dr John Clarke, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Sydney and a consultant to the New South Wales Police Force, demonstrated that 61.5 per cent of convicted animal abusers had also committed an assault against humans and that 17 per cent were guilty of sexual abuse. Most disturbingly, animal abuse was a better predictor of sexual assault than previous convictions for homicide, arson or firearms offences. Only 1 per cent of cruelty-to-animals offenders had no other convictions at all.
The world’s most notorious serial killers – including Jeffrey Dahmer, Dennis Rader and Albert DeSalvo (better known as the “Boston Strangler”) – have had long documented histories of harming animals.
In Australia, murderers such as Paul Denyer, John Travers and Ivan Milat tortured and killed animals before turning to human victims.