By 3 News online staff
An Australian man who makes people laugh for a living is the first to admit that his recent brush with the law went “beyond a joke”.
Comedian James Dezarnaulds – also known as Jimbo Bazoobi – was called to appear in a Sydney court yesterday after his pet goat Gary landed him with a fine.
Police accused Mr Dezarnaulds of letting Gary eat plants outside Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art last August, and fined him AU$440 (NZ$551), ABC reports.
“I'm a comedian, I can come up with jokes, but it's pretty hard to compete with cops coming up with this stuff,” he told ABC.
Mr Dezarnaulds wrote a letter to police asking for the charge of destroying vegetation without authority to be dropped, and thanking them for “helping me out with my career as [a] comedian”.
In court yesterday Magistrate Carolyn Barkell said there was no doubt that Gary had eaten plants from the garden, but there was also no evidence that Mr Dezarnaulds intended him to do so, Sky News reports.
The fine was cancelled, but Ms Barkell dismissed Mr Dezarnaulds’ application for his legal costs to be covered by the Crown.
Gary was not required to give evidence.
Speaking outside court, Mr Dezarnaulds said he was glad Gary’s reputation had not been tarnished by a conviction.
“Gary’s name has been cleared of all this slander. He was simply eating and I want to thank everyone for coming down here,” he told Sky. "Gary the goat taught the cops a valuable lesson today – don’t bite off more than you can chew."
Gary and his owner travel Australia delivering their comedy performances.
On Gary’s Facebook page Mr Dezarnauds explains that he bought his friend with a case of beer from an abattoir in Gingin, West Australia, in December 2011.
Gary’s favourite foods are listed as “roses and cigarette butts”.