Butcher behind bars
MOSSMAN’S only butcher shop has suddenly closed after revelations its former owner is in prison and facing a string of serious criminal charges.
Butcher Justin William Frederic Edwards was arrested in February on alleged unlawful stalking, common assault, damage by force, stealing and four counts of wilful damage offences.
His brother, Neil Browning, had run the Mossman Butchering Company in his absence before he was told by his brother to leave last month, leaving the town without a butcher for the first time in over 100 years.
Mr Edwards was remanded in custody at the Cairns Magistrates Court in August with the matter now before the higher District Court. He is facing serious jail time if found guilty.
Mr Browning, who had left a lucrative mining job to keep the business running, said he was saddened by the closure.
“Basically I am no longer in contact with Justin; he told me to leave the butcher shop,” he said.
“I’ve had to step away from it.
“I was doing the best I could; the butcher shop was failing before I got there and I sort of pulled it back,” he said.
Mr Browning, a 30-year-old father, said his brother had ‘made a lot of bad choices’ and was facing bankruptcy.
“I actually put $20,000 of my own money in. Legally I had to do what he said (and close the shop) and I’m now in a massive amount of debt because of it.”
He would return to work in the coal mines and wanted to thank his loyal customers over the past seven months.
“Everyone has been really supportive of me; they know the sacrifices I made for that shop,” he said.
“I did my trade in that shop, a lot of people know me.
“The customers are what turned the shop around and brought it back.
“There are people who have been going there for over 20 years.”