by PHILLIPPA BUTT, NT News
A TEENAGER who handed himself in to police over the shooting of East Point pony Pearly will not face court.
Instead, the 17-year-old, who the NT News understands confessed to being involved in shooting two ponies at the Fannie Bay Equestrian Club with crossbow arrows, will be considered for youth diversion programs.
Youth diversion programs are in place in an attempt to stop young offenders from ever entering the court system.
An NT Police spokeswoman said the male teen handed himself in to the Darwin Police Station on Thursday evening.
"Upon completion of the interview, the youth was released. In line with the Youth Justice Act, he will be considered for youth diversion on weapons and animal cruelty charges," she said.
"Investigations into possible co-offenders are ongoing.
"The alleged weapon has since been seized by police."
Fannie Bay Equestrian Club president Mel Brenton said she was grateful for the support from the community.
"The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming during this sad time," she said.
"The police have been phenomenal.
"The investigation is continuing and I'd encourage people who know something to contact police.
"Pearly's heartbreaking story has touched people around the world, and they are reaching out to us with offers of support. We've had people offering to cover vet bills, we've had people wanting to help us improve security at East Point, we've had offers to buy the children a new pony.
"It's truly humbling how much people care."
Pearly the pony was shot by two crossbow arrows earlier this week while feeding in one of the front paddocks at the Fannie Bay Equestrian Club.
Pearly had to be put down after veterinarian Susannah Smith decided the animal's injuries were too severe.
On Friday the NT News revealed a second pony, Hollywood Hitman, was also shot once in the rump but survived.