Johnny Depp’s wife escapes conviction in dogs trial
Johnny Depp’s wife Amber Heard has received a 1,000 Australian dollars (£541) good behaviour bond with no conviction after pleading guilty to providing a false immigration document which failed to declare her dogs.
The actress had two other, more serious charges of illegally importing the terriers Pistol and Boo into the country dismissed.
A conviction on the illegal importation counts could have sent Heard to prison for up to 10 years.
The false documents charge carried a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a fine of over 10,000 Australian dollars (£5,400).
“If she keeps her nose clean for one month, she pays nothing,” said Channel 9 reporter Joel Dry.
“The magistrate decided that all this media attention and bad news was probably punishment enough.”
The couple posted a video apology on Youtube, in which Heard said she was “truly sorry that Pistol and Boo were not declared”.
Depp added: “When you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly.”
Heard arrived at Southport Magistrates’ Court in Queensland this morning accompanied by Depp.
The couple were swarmed by reporters when they arrived in a black limousine.
They said little apart from Depp responding “Fine, thank you,” to journalists shouting questions about how Pistol and Boo were doing.
Twelve witnesses had been listed to give evidence but it was unclear whether Depp was one of them.
The case, dubbed the “war on terrier”, began in May last year when Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce accused Depp of sneaking the terriers aboard his private jet when he returned to Australia for the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Australia has strict quarantine regulations to prevent diseases such as rabies from spreading to its shores. Bringing pets into the country involves applying for a permit and quarantine on arrival of at least 10 days.
“If we start letting movie stars – even though they’ve been the sexiest man alive twice – to come into our nation (with pets), then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody?” Mr Joyce said at the time.
“It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.”
Depp and Heard were given 72 hours to send Pistol and Boo back to the US, with officials warning that the dogs would otherwise be euthanised. The pooches boarded a flight home just hours before the deadline ran out. SkyNews
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