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.

Geoff's tasty cakes claim multiple wins at Adelaide show

TASTY TREATS: Geoff Beattie recently won numerous awards for his cooking at the Adelaide Show.

Glamorgan Vale baker cooks up a storm in Adelaide

Top photographers capture the Somerset region

SUPER SNAPS: The overall winner of Council's Essentially Somerset Photographic Competition was Beate Ammer, with Mayor Graeme Lehmann. INSET: Beate's winning photo.

Beate Ammer wins Somerset photo competition.

Gatton Auto snag top rural gong

TOP PRIZE: Gatton Auto's Jason Gordon (left) receiving the award.

Gatton Auto win Nissan's top rural prize.

Local Partners

'Buggered' Lowood desperate for buses

Two Petitions have been tabled in the Queensland Parliament concerning a lack of buses in Lowood.

Transforming a pest into a piece of art

STEADY HANDS: Kelsey Wilson and Matthew Dingle weaving cat's claw creeper at the workshop.

A morning was spent weaving cat's claw creeper into works of art.

Geoff's tasty cakes claim multiple wins at Adelaide show

TASTY TREATS: Geoff Beattie recently won numerous awards for his cooking at the Adelaide Show.

Glamorgan Vale baker cooks up a storm in Adelaide

Top photographers capture the Somerset region

SUPER SNAPS: The overall winner of Council's Essentially Somerset Photographic Competition was Beate Ammer, with Mayor Graeme Lehmann. INSET: Beate's winning photo.

Beate Ammer wins Somerset photo competition.

Gatton Auto snag top rural gong

TOP PRIZE: Gatton Auto's Jason Gordon (left) receiving the award.

Gatton Auto win Nissan's top rural prize.

Locals unite to eradicate Fireweed

WEED KILLERS: A group of volunteers pluck Fireweed from a Mulgowie property.

Volunteers unite to pick aggressive Fireweed.

UGLY Laidley bartender pulls funds for Leukaemia foundation

Queensland National bartender Jamie-Lee McCluskey came second in the UGLY Bartender of the year competition.

Laidley bartender finished second in U.G.L.Y competition

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record