One of the men charged with the mass killing of kangaroos at Tura Beach two months ago has pleaded guilty to the incident that shocked the community.
Nathan Sanger, 20, of Numbugga, appeared in Bega Local Court with his co-accused Ashley Sorenson, 33, of Tura Beach, on Tuesday, November 26.
While Sorenson pleaded not guilty, Sanger admitted to his role in the September 28 incident that left 21 kangaroos dead.
Both had been charged with torture, beat and cause death of animal, and in court on Tuesday the prosecutor said police alleged they were in a car together at the time of the incident.
During the hearing Sanger's defence lawyer admitted the offences involved "gratuitous cruelty" which included a "lot of suffering to a large number of defenceless animals".
The lawyer said Sanger had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, was remorseful for his actions, had no criminal record and the public condemnation over his actions meant he had a good chance of rehabilitation.
When it came to sentencing Magistrate Doug Dick admitted Sanger had taken steps to make amends by volunteering at the Far South Coast's native animal sanctuary Potoroo Palace.
However, he said to Sanger "what you've done may in time be forgiven, but it will never be forgotten".
"At the time there was a great deal of community outrage as you know, and that hasn't waned," Magistrate Dick said.
More Local News coverage, click here
He said the registrar had been receiving letters from "all over the place" from people complaining about Sanger's offences, "trying to influence the court" - although he said he had not read them.
Magistrate Dick said each time a kangaroo had been killed it was an act of cruelty "with no regard to the pain it might have suffered".
He said the law recognised animals suffer pain just like humans - which was why if motorists hit any animal other than a bird when driving they had to stop to check on it.
The magistrate said the maximum sentence in the case was five years' imprisonment, but Sanger received a two-year intensive corrections order and was ordered to serve 500 hours of community service.
Dressed in a blue shirt with a close-cropped haircut, Sanger was supported by his family in court and the only words he uttered were "yes" when asked by Magistrate Dick if he understood the terms of his sentence.
Sorenson's case was adjourned to January 14, 2020.
Read more Court and Crime coverage here