Rockhampton’s Stock and Rural Crime Squad detectives have notched up two convictions in recent months.
In January, Yaamba grazier Susanne Bedey pleaded guilty to 12 stock regulation offences in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court, and was fined $4000 and sentenced to eight terms of imprisonment for periods ranging between nine and 12 months, suspended for two years.
On March 2, former Emerald resident Jason Carl Klementsen received a suspended sentence and probation when he appeared in the court on 14 stock-related charges, including six counts of stock stealing and one count of illegal branding.
The court heard in January that 46-year-old Bedey sold three lots of her neighbour’s cattle between June and September last year, removing and replacing ear tags and falsifying waybills each time.
According to police prosecutor Clancy Fox, the complainant shared a common boundary with Bedey.
She had consigned 28 head of cattle for slaughter in June, completing a waybill listing her business as the owner of the cattle.
Mr Fox said the cattle had different ear tags and said that Bedey couldn’t verify where they had come from.
She sold another 26 head in two lots to the meatworks between June and September to the value of $19,500.
SARCIS officers visited her property in October and found 10 head had fresh brands over the top of existing brands.
“The defendant’s tags were on the beasts and the combination effect masked the origin of the beast,” Mr Fox said.
Bedey told the court she was not aware cross-branding best practice was to place the new brand directly below the old one.
Her defence lawyer Alan Grant said the property’s previous owner had told her there were wild cattle there, and Bedey was happy to treat the cattle in question as the previous owner’s, making no enquiries to check brands.
The court heard Bedey had previously paid $57,000 restitution to the complainant.
In the second case, the court heard that on February 18 last year, police officers identified suspect cattle at the Emerald saleyards and charged Klementsen as a result.
He was found guilty of 13 of the 14 charges.