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Amber Heard escapes conviction in dog smuggling case

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Amber Heard escapes conviction in dog smuggling case

Amber Heard received a one month good behaviour bond without conviction in court in Australia after pleading guilty to producing a false document relating to her dog-smuggling case.

The actress and her Hollywood star husband Johnny Depp fell foul of animal importation laws in May (15) when she allegedly flew their pet terriers, Pistol and Boo, into the country without the proper permits while visiting him on the set of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Amber was subsequently charged with two counts of illegal importation of an animal and one of producing a false document, and she and Johnny were both in Southport Magistrates Court in Queensland on Monday (18Apr16) to face a judge.

But the two charges of illegal importation were dropped due to lack of evidence prior to the couple stepping into court, and she agreed to plead guilty only to the count of falsifying quarantine documents.

During the case, Amber's lawyer Jeremy Kirk SC told the court that the actress was jet lagged and worried about a hand injury Johnny had suffered during filming.

He added that Amber usually leaves her travel organisation to the couple's staff, including the documents that need to be arranged, and had assumed everything had been dealt with ahead of her arrival into the country with the canines.

"My client never had any intention to conceal the fact the dogs were in Australia," Mr Kirk said. "She has made a tired, terrible mistake."

However, Commonwealth prosecutor Peter Callaghan SC argued that it was the actress' responsibility to organise her arrival documentation.

"The laws apply to everyone ... no-one is entitled to put their legal entitlements to one side," he said.

Johnny and Amber were also seen making a video apology to the court in footage posted to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ YouTube channel.

Looking sombre in the video, Amber describes Australia as "a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and people". Johnny adds: "Australians are just as unique, both warm and direct. If you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly."

After reviewing the evidence, Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan said that it had appeared to be an isolated incident, and ordered that no conviction should be recorded. Amber was also issued a $1000 recognisance.

- Cover Media