POLICE turned security guards to protect a teenager accused of torturing and killing a kangaroo as he faced court yesterday.
The 19-year-old is facing animal cruelty charges over a January incident that left a kangaroo dead and its joey injured.
He is accused of running over a kangaroo, tying it to the back of a car and dragging it for 2km before the bloodied carcass was dumped in Wodonga's main street.
The kangaroo's death shocked the border town.
Several locals told the Herald Sun Mr Franks had been threatened over the incident.
About a dozen activists protested loudly and confronted Mr Franks as he entered the court.The Australian Society for Kangaroos campaigners carried placards and asked Mr Franks if he felt any remorse.
An ugly scuffle broke out between the group and the teenager, who was accompanied by his father.
Protester Lisa Milligan alleged she was hurt after a collision with Mr Franks's father.
Ms Milligan said his elbow hit her twice in the ribs as he walked past her.
"It winded me and bruised me," she said.
"I just approached him (Nigel Franks) to see if he felt any remorse."
Inside court, Mr Franks's lawyer, Mario Vaccaro, said the matter was not ready to proceed.
The case was adjourned until June 4 - the second time it had been adjourned.
Protester Nikki Sutterby said she was disappointed by the adjournment.
She urged the court to impose the harshest possible penalty on the teen if he were found guilty.
"These are really serious offences," she said.
"It is hard to imagine the unbelievable pain this defenceless kangaroo would have endured."
Anyone convicted of aggravated cruelty to an animal can face a fine of $60,000 and two years' jail.
By Shannon Deery, Herald Sun