Crafar not guilty in dirty farming trial

Reporoa dairy farmer Glen Walter Crafar has been found not guilty by a Rotorua District Court  jury of one charge of dirty dairying.

The decision was not unanimous with 11 of the 12 jurors favouring it. Late this morning the foreman indicated to Judge Chris McGuire that 10 out of 12 jurors agreed on the same verdict but the judge told the panel he could only accept a verdict if 11 out of 12 of them agreed on the outcome. After  a brief retirement they returned with the 11 to one verdict.

When Crafar's trial began in the Rotorua District Court on Monday he denied discharging contaminants on land at Reporoa  between June and September 2008.

Outside the court he said he was ecstatic he had been acquitted.

"If you are right, you fight," Crafar said.

He also said it was crazy Resource Management Act matters were tried in the criminal court.

His father, Allan Crafar, described the verdict as a victory for farmers generally. He praised his son for holding out for justice for three years. Most people would have pleaded guilty to have the matter over and done with, he said.

The Dominion Post