Jackson and Jesse George plead guilty after theft of Symbio pygmy marmosets

Police hopeful of finding missing monkey Gomez

As distraught keepers were appealingfor information into the theft of three rare monkeysfrom aHelensburgh wildlife park,Campbelltown 23-year-old Jackson George’s phone pinged with a message.

“Ay check out my monkey,” it read. “Wat ya reckon they worth?”

Jackson and his older brother Jesse Michael George, 26, fronted Campbelltown Local Court on Monday, admitting their part in the race-against-the-clock mystery that has angered and disturbed thousands of area animal lovers.

The court considered a series of text messages between Jackson and another man,who theMercuryhas opted not to name while the police investigation is ongoing.

During the exchange Jackson, an exotic animal enthusiast with a penchant for snakes and lizards,offersto buy the pictured monkey, unfazed when the seller reveals he “paid nothing” for the creature and had “got it from the zoo last night haha 3 of em and a baby joey”.

“Ill(sic) buy all 3 if use(sic)want to sell them,” Jackson replied, in a message sent Saturday afternoon.

The brothers were arrested a day laterafter they drove to Appin Hotel with the youngest of the monkeys on board, wrapped in Jesse’s jumper.

Bothwere charged with dealing with proceeds of crime. They would later admit they went to the hotel intending to on-sell the baby monkey, aged four weeks.

They spent the night injail after refusing to take part in a police interview.

Jackson had withheld information that could have helped police to find the other two missing monkeys –only one of which had since been recovered -police prosecutor Peter Robinson told the court.

“Mr [Jackson] George has shown complete contempt for police and theirdesperate attempts to (restore) the family unit,” he said.

“Mr George has information that could lead to the finding of that third monkey.

“He has laughed and stated that…‘you have my phone, you’ll work it out’.”

Jackson was released on bail and will return to court on January 10 for sentencing.

Ms Carr, who represented both men, told the court Jesse George had played a limited role in the affair.

But she conceded he knew the monkey was stolen and was“proceeds of crime” when he agreed to transport the creature.

Jesse was fined $1500 and placed on a two-year good behavior bond.

He gave supporters a thumbs-up as he left the court room and, once a free man, ran directly inside the Court Hotel.

It is not suggested that either brother played a role in breaking into the park and removing the animals from their enclosure.

A police investigation into the theft is ongoing.

Illawarra Mercury

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