The man charged with the theft of eight head of cattle from the Mid-Western Regional Council Saleyards, was fined a total of $5,100 in Mudgee Local Court on Wednesday.
Norman James Daniel of Cypress Drive, Yarrawonga, was also convicted and placed on a two-year conditional release order for a charge of not appearing in accordance with his bail conditions.
On the evening of Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - following a cattle sale at the saleyards that day, and before a store cattle sale at the same location the next morning – Daniel and two family members took the eight animals from a pen located next to one of the facility’s loading ramps overnight. In just over five minutes they had left the scene.
Police posted the CCTV footage of the incident to the the Mudgee Local Area Command [now Orana Mid-Western Police District] Facebook page, which lead to the identification the truck and the location of the eight head of cattle - seven of which had their National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) devices removed.
The trio were charged with the 18-year-old and 19-year-old co-accused each sentenced to two-year conditional release orders without criminal convictions being recorded, in Mudgee Local Court on Friday, January 25, 2019, for their part in the incident.
However, Magistrate David Day said that there was no parity of sentence for Daniel, because those two were charged with being accessories to the theft and “weren’t the criminal geniuses behind this”.
The comment drew a yelled retort of “bullshit” from a supporter of Daniel in the gallery which saw them ejected from the courtroom.
His Honour disagreed with solicitor Tracy Jackson’s suggestion that her client’s actions were “not sophisticated”.
Asserting that “on those [police] facts it was executed very quickly, by someone who knew the complex and how many people he needed” and it was “petty, low-level, but cunning”.
He said that he decided on fining the defendant, “because these are economic crimes and they deserve an economic penalty”.
And spoke of the need for “general deterrence” in sentencing.
“We can’t have cattle-duffing going on in this community,” Magistrate Day said.
Daniel will return to Mudgee Local Court on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, to face unrelated firearms charges.