A farmer sent 14 of his neighbour's sheep to the meat works after they wandered on to his property.
Peter John Ruddenklau didn't tell his neighbour he had his sheep because of past disputes between the pair, the Napier District Court was told yesterday.
Instead, Ruddenklau, 49, sent the sheep to Silver Fern Farms in Wairoa to be killed. He had intended to send his neighbour a cheque for the carcasses, which were valued at $1400.
His neighbour did not know he was missing any sheep until he spotted familiar ear tags among a flock in stockyards belonging to Ruddenklau on June 17.
From the roadside, he could see eight sheep belonging to him. He took a photo of them because there was no-one manning the stockyard.
He went back the next day to find the stockyard empty.
Ruddenklau admitted to police that 14 of the sheep were capital stock belonging to the Rocky Basin Farm.
Because of previous hassles with his neighbours, he decided to kill the sheep instead of returning them.
He pleaded guilty to theft yesterday, and was fined $1000 and ordered to pay $1400 reparation
- The Dominion Post