News

Cattle duffer jailed

©istockphoto/antb

A QUEENSLAND cattle farmer who has been living in Warwick is behind bars and must pay a $237,000 fine after "building a small cattle empire" mostly through stolen stock.

Ashley Armstrong Thomson, 49, stole more than $134,000 worth of cattle from five neighbours in the Cunnamulla area, near the NSW border.

He would re-brand the cattle with his RY4 symbol and often removed National Livestock Identification System ear tags indicating where they belonged.

Thomson, who has been living in Warwick after the courts banned him from attending his Cunnamulla properties, owned and lived on properties Kywong and Gilnockie.

Over 11 years, Thomson stole 59 cattle and bred 168 of their progeny, resulting in five cattle generations in some cases.

By the time some of the stolen stock was identified, Thomson had already sold at least 17 through the Dalby Saleyards to different feedlots for $12,563.

Having been bought legitimately, those cattle could not be returned to the neighbours.

Charleville District Court heard police seized many of the stolen cattle but Thomson has consented to returning another 81 cattle to the victims.

Crown prosecutor Lily Brisick said the length of the offending had watered down strong bloodlines the neighbouring farmers had worked hard to establish.

One neighbour's stud Braford cow produced a beast worth $7500 but, when bred with Thomson's stock, produced an animal worth just $436, Ms Brisick said as an example.

"In country as vast as this, where fences just cannot be checked daily, graziers rely on their neighbours to return straying stock," she said.

"Trust is what binds the community.

"Trust is even more (important) in times of drought when cattle must move further to find feed and times of flood when fences are most likely to be damaged.

"(Thomson's) conduct has spanned both drought and flood."

Police uncovered the thefts through cattle seizures and DNA tests over three years, costing police about $72,000 and victims about $90,000.

Thomson pleaded guilty after two days of a trial, which required witnesses to be flown in from NSW.

He was sentenced to two years and three months jail, suspended after he has served nine months.

The balance of the sentence will hang over his head for five years.

The sheer size of the properties around Cunnamulla, near the NSW border, would astound many.

Floods and droughts can strike them with equally catastrophic proportions.

It took years for some farmers to tell police their cattle numbers were falling dramatically.

Topics:  stock theft


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Lockyer Valley Council searches for signs of unusual crime

STOLEN: A Lockyer Valley Regional Council sign promoting Australia Day was stolen from a billboard along the Warrego Highway at Prenzlau. Pictured is an example of what the 6x3m vinyl sign shows.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council's Australia Day sign was stolen.

New sign in Lowood for natural disasters

Member for Ipswich West, Jim Madden, with the new LED sign for Lowood.

A new sign in Lowood will help in emergencies.

McMullen team prepare to take on NSW talent

Peter McMullen and Chantal Turpin are engaged and are riding against each other in a big trotting race on Saturday.
Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

Striving for the top in New South Wales

Local Partners

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

REVIEW: Will Kasey Chambers' Dragonfly take off with fans?

Kasey Chambers’ new album Dragonfly gets 3.5 stars from Cameron Adams.

CHAMBERS is back with her 11th studio album.

Ed Sheeran wants Beyonce collaboration

Ed Sheeran wants to record a duet with Beyoncé.

Nicole Kidman squirms through questions on Keith

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

'God, you guys are personal ... that’s for him to talk about'

Mark Salling's child porn court date cancelled

Mark Salling's upcoming court hearing has been cancelled

Steve Carell pulls cruel prank on fans of the office

Steve Carrell decided to pull a cruel prank on fans of The Office

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!