Wanaka man de­nies stock thefts Jury trial starts in In­ver­cargill

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

AWanaka man ac­cused of steal­ing live­stock worth hun­dreds of thou­sands dol­lars ap­peared be­fore a jury in the In­ver­cargill Dis­trict Court on Mon­day. Si­mon Robert Hawkins pleaded not guilty to 22 charges of theft, re­lat­ing to deer, sheep, stags, vel­vet and bar­ley taken from Crif­fel Deer Farm and West Wanaka Sta­tion farmer Grant Cochrane be­tween 2009 and 2011. Hawkins was jointly charged with Dean Thomas Herd, man­ager of Crif­fel Deer Farm, who has pleaded guilty to all charges. Crown prose­cu­tor John Young said Herd had given Hawkins the live­stock to take to Al­liance to be killed, and the two in­tended to split the prof­its. In to­tal, 631 deer, worth $278,000, were taken, along with 11 stags val­ued at $10,000 and about 120 sheep. Hawkins claimed he thought the live­stock be­longed to Mr Herd and be­lieved he was act­ing legally when sell­ing the an­i­mals, and the jury would have to de­cide whether this was the case, Mr Young said. ’’There’s no doubt Mr Hawkins took the deer. The ques­tion or the is­sue will be did he do so dis­hon­estly?’’ De­fence lawyer Ron Mans­field said Hawkins had be­lieved he was deal­ing with ‘‘an hon­est and re­li­able man’’, and when he dis­cov­ered the stock was not Mr Herd’s to sell, had co-op­er­ated with po­lice. The trial, be­ing heard be­fore Judge Michael Turner, is ex­pected to con­tinue for two weeks.

Rob­bery ac­cused re­manded

Four young de­fen­dants in­volved in an al­leged rob­bery in Al­bert Town ap­peared in Queen­stown Dis­trict Court. The de­fen­dants, 15, 17, 18 and 20, ap­peared be­fore Judge Michael Turner in Youth Court and were jointly charged with as­sault with in­tent to in­jure a tourist on Jan­uary. The as­sault charge was with­drawn and all four face a charge of rob­bing $350 cash. The 20-year-old ap­peared in the In­ver­cargill Dis­trict Court on Fri­day and was re­manded in cus­tody un­til Fe­bru­ary 11. The 18-year-old faces five other charges, threat­en­ing to in­jure with in­tent to in­tim­i­date on De­cem­ber 31, of­fer­ing to sell Class C ri­talin be­tween Au­gust and De­cem­ber, of­fer­ing to sell class B MDMA on Septem­ber 5, of­fer­ing to sell cannabis to per­sons over 18 on Jan­uary 9 and re­sist­ing po­lice on De­cem­ber 31. He was re­manded in cus­tody by con­sent to ap­pear in Youth Court in Queen­stown on Fe­bru­ary 11. The 15-year-old, whose case was heard via tele­phone link, and 17-year-old were re­manded on bail to the same date.

Tagged on Face­book

A graf­fiti artist in Queen­stown was nabbed de­fac­ing pri­vate prop­erty af­ter post­ing photographs of his work on Face­book. Se­nior con­sta­ble Chris Black­ford, of Queen­stown, said the owner of a con­tainer on the Lower Sho­tover delta re­ported the graf­fiti to po­lice last week. The con­tainer owner man­aged to track down the graf­fiti artist af­ter be­ing alerted to pic­tures on so­cial me­dia. ‘‘He was stupid enough to post pic­tures of him­self on Face­book tag­ging.’’ The teenager, 18, was not charged but was re­quired to clean the con­tainer.

Knick­ers nicked

Women’s un­der­wear has been re­peat­edly stolen from wash­ing lines in Fern­hill. Black­ford said women’s un­der­wear, bras and knick­ers were re­ported stolen and it ap­peared thefts were on­go­ing for at least three months. If any­one sus­pected cloth­ing was stolen they should re­port it to po­lice. ‘‘Petty theft of ladies’ un­der­wear can lead to more se­ri­ous of­fend­ing if not checked,’’ he said.

Tran­sient trou­ble

Last Wed­nes­day at 7.30am po­lice spoke to a 61-year-old tran­sient man in Queen­stown cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict. The man was al­legedly car­ry­ing three knives in a back­pack and was mak­ing com­ments about stab­bing peo­ple. He was re­ferred for amen­tal health as­sess­ment and the Sal­va­tion Army, who ar­ranged for the man to travel by bus to Pic­ton.

Partypoopers sought

Par­ty­go­ers caused $5000 worth of dam­age to an Arthurs Pt house ear­lier this month. Mr Black­ford said a woman re­ported the dam­age to po­lice on Satur­day. She told po­lice the dam­age was caused by a group of young peo­ple be­tween Jan­uary 13 and 16. Walls were holed and there was other dam­age and in­quiries were con­tin­u­ing.

Cy­clists warned

Two Chi­nese na­tion­als on a cy­cling tour of New Zealand were given warn­ings for un­law­fully spend­ing the night in a sleep­out. They told po­lice they ar­rived too late in Ar­row­town to se­cure ac­com­mo­da­tion for the night on Satur­day so they moved in to a sleep­out at a prop­erty in Bed­ford St.

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