Scott Guy Trial: Day 10

19:53, Jun 18 2012
Ewen Macdonald
MURDER ACCUSED: Ewen Macdonald.

Scott Guy's brother-in-law Ewen Macdonald, 32, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Guy by shooting him twice in the early morning of July 8, 2010.

Crown prosecutors Ben Vanderkolk and Paul Murray are prosecuting. Criminal lawyer Greg King is representing Macdonald. Manawatu barrister Peter Coles is also part of the defence.

The trial began at the High Court in Wellington on Tuesday June 5 and is expected to go for at least a month.

Scott Guy
SCOTT GUY: Killed outside his farmhouse.

The third week begins today and is expected to move into the investigation phase with details of how police narrowed in on Macdonald.


5.10pm The trial has adjourned for the day


The jury is to continue to hear a DVD police interview with Ewen Macdonald tomorrow.

About two and a half hours of the recorded interview were shown today with over an hour still to go.

Macdonald has talked about the graffiti to Scott and Kylee’s new home, the fire at an old house on the Guy’s property and denied all of it.

The police had asked to interview him about those, some stolen deer, malicious letters placed in a letterbox and the murder of Mr Guy.

4.24pm Scott Guy armed himself with a shotgun for protection

Scott Guy became concerned after the graffiti on the new home he and his wife Kylee were building and got a shotgun for protection.

The police interview of Ewen Macdonald, shown to the jury, moved on to the graffiti on the walls of Scott and Kylee’s new home.

Macdonald had told the police he was in Ruakaka that weekend.  He later told them he got a speeding ticket coming back after he heard about it.

He had been helping a friend move.

"Anna rang and said there was graffiti damage to Scott and Kylee’s new house and she was feeling pretty nervous."

He said there had been a couple of break-ins up and down the road and everyone was a bit on edge.

Macdonald said Anna was bit concerned and was unhappy we were away so Callum (Boe) and he decided have a nap then head straight home.

"That's when I got the speeding ticket."

He found Callum Guy had stayed at the house as security and Macdonald spoke to him there before going home.

Macdonald said everyone was wondering why is it happening.

Scott got paranoid and went and bought a shotgun for protection, he said.

3.35pm Ewen Macdonald was 'blown away' that Scott Guy expected to inherit the farm.

Ewen Macdonald said he and Anna wanted to make a go of the farm, along with Bryan and Jo Guy and Scott and Kylee Guy.

During an interview with Mr Howell he said they wanted to stay on the farm and had decided early on that their goals was to set up shares, educate the kids, get a bigger house and stay involved with the farm.

He said farming was the only thing he knew how to do.

"We basically wanted to move forward with the farm, with Bryan and Jo and Scott and Kylee and grow it bigger."

He admitted it "blew me away" when Scott told a family meeting he wanted to inherit the business.

"I think he just wanted to get that off his chest," Macdonald said.

Bryan Guy was quick to put an end to that.

3.21pm: Macdonald and Guy were making an effort to talk

Ewen Macdonald said he and Scott Guy were making more of an effort to talk, he told police during a formal interview.

After a family meeting at which Mr Guy had been unhappy about a number of things, Macdonald said they thought they should work on it more.

He said they did not usually socialise a lot together but after the meeting things needed to get back on track.

Macdonald said Anna and Kylee Guy began having coffee and he thought Mrs Guy came up with the idea of having a dinner out.

He and Mr Guy wanted to have a monthly meeting and talk about what was happening.

He thought the staff needed the leadership.

Macdonald told Detective Laurie Howell he had "whinged'' to staff like Simon Asplin about Mr Guy leaving work early when he could be helping more.

3.00pm: "I don't expect anything and try and keep my head down" - Macdonald

EWen Macdonald told Mr Howell that he was shocked to hear the old house Scott and Kylee were having moved off their property had been burnt to the ground in October 2008.

Macdonald said it was his weekend off and Bryan Guy turned up around breakfast time and said the house had been burnt to the ground.

"We obviously slept right through the engines screaming up the road.’"

He said they went up to have a look and there was nothing left.

There was an assumption that a disgruntled employee of Britton's – who were moving the house – had done it.

The Crown has said Macdonald did it as part of a campaign to get Scott and Kylee to leave the family farm.

He denied being responsible for the arson and did not know who was when Mr Howell asked him.

He said there was no benefit to him to do it.

The family had had a meeting at which Mr Guy had been unhappy about Ewen and Anna Macdonald moving into the family homestead.

Macdonald said he was upset but he was the son-in-law, "I don’t expect anything and try and keep my head down."

"I had thought hopefully they would be happy about building the new house,’" he said.

2.43pm: Macdonald denied knowledge of stag theft

Macdonald denied knowing anything about the theft of two stags off a neighbouring property.

The Crown has alleged that Macdonald and another man were involved.

During a police interview with Mr Howell he said he had no personal knowledge, "Nah I'm not that stupid, its too close to home,'' he said.

The stags had been taken around Christmas and Macdonald said he read about it in the paper.

Macdonald said Callum Boe would not have the "balls" to do it by himself.

Mr Howell told Macdonald he was not under arrest at the start of the interview.

Macdonald mentioned another neighbour had problems with his fences being cut to get deer out.

2.32pm: Jury begins watching Macdonald interview

The jury has begun watching a police DVD interview of Ewen Macdonald that took several hours.

Detective Laurie Howell interviewed Macdonald on DVD on April 7, 2011.

He picked him up from his home and took him to the Palmerston North police station.  He told Macdonald the interview would be about deer at the nearby Hocken farm, criminal damage at the Guy farm and the murder of Scott Guy on the drive there.

1.10pm: Jury to see interview DVD

The jury is expected to begin watching a DVD interview of Macdonald by police this afternoon.

12.56pm: Macdonald denied knowledge of graffiti painted on Guy home.

During a police interview in November police asked Ewen Macdonald about his access to guns and the gunsafe.

Six days after Detective Glen Jackson spoke to Macdonald about a conference he went to with Scott Guy, he returned to talk to him further.

Macdonald told him about the gunsafe and that there was a combination to open it.

Macdonald denied knowing anything about obscene graffiti painted on Scott and Kylee Guy's new home.

While speaking to Mr Jackson, Macdonald said he had seen the writing after he had returned from a trip to Ruakaka but did not recognise the handwriting.

Macdonald asked if a brush was used not spray paint and the police told him it was.

Mr Jackson said he talked to Macdonald about the way the words were spelled and distinctive way the letters were formed.

He had spoken earlier to Anna Macdonald about them and about possibly releasing them to the public.

He showed her the pictures and pointed out distinctive loops in the some of the letters.

12.29pm Ewen Macdonald and Scott Guy agreed the family farm needed more income

Police interviewed Ewen Macdonald about going to a conference in Invercargill with Scott shortly before he was fatally shot.

Detective Glen Jackson had been assigned as police liaison with Anna and Ewen Macdonald and went to speak to him in November 2010 about the conference which had been in June.

Scott Guy was killed on July 8, 2010.

Macdonald said he and Scott Guy came back from the conference thinking the same thing.

"We were aware the farm was supporting three families and were looking for outside income," he said.

He said they were both thinking about automatic cup removers for the milking, along with ideas like share milking and managing outside farms.

Macdonald said they were both on the same page and wanted to remove labour costs.

They did not go to the same sessions so they could get as much information as possible and both went on the field trips, like a robotic milking farm.

11.19am: Scott Guy’s death would have resulted in his shares going to his wife and children.

After Scott Guy was shot, his widow Kylee was unable to live in the home they had shared and it was sold the following year.

Scott's father Bryan Guy said she went back to her parents in Hawke's Bay a week after the shooting.

Ewen Macdonald got an increase in pay about the time the house was sold in 2011.

Bryan Guy said Scott Guy and Macdonald were to be paid the same from about June 2008.  He had spoken to both of them about it.

Each couple had a 10 percent share in Byreburn, which was the company that held the land the cows were on, the plant and equipment.

A valuation was done of the property to determine its value when the shares were offered to the two couples.

They each borrowed money from trusts to pay for the shares of $287,000 although there was no demand to pay it back.

Mr Guy said up to Scott Guy's death there was no dividend paid on those shares.

He said Anna and Ewen Macdonald paid them $250,000 for the homestead when he and his wife moved to Feilding and Scott and Kylee paid $150,000 for a block of land to build their own home on.

Mr Guy told defence lawyer Greg King that Macdonald was working very long hours at the time he got the pay rise.

Scott Guy’s death would not have resulted in his shares going back to the farm company, but to his wife and children.

Under cross- examination Bryan Guy agreed with defence lawyer Greg King that the shares would go to Kylee, Hunter and Drover.

"Yes that’s right although that later changed."

Mr King then asked if Bryan Guy then bought Kylee out and he said that had subsequently happened.

10.50am A meeting was held to provide couples share of business

One of the outcomes of a family meeting in 2006 between the three couples on the Guy farm was how to provide each of them a share in the business.

Dairy farm consultant David Beca said it was an important part of the meeting to discuss how that could happen.

A division of responsiblities were made with Ewen responsible for the milking side of the business and Scott Guy taking on the non-diary supporting land, cropping and calf rearing.

He said a communication strategy was put in place for daily, weekly and quarterly meetings.

Mr Beca said the dairy business had the potential to stand alone and directly produced the great majority of the revenue.

He said dairying required a much larger commitment in hours than the cropping.

10.37am: Farm communication a problem

Scott and Kylee Guy told a diary farm consultant that communication was a problem that needed to improve at a meeting over the farm future in 2006.

Consultant David Beca spoke to each of the three couples on the farm separately.

He said Mr Guy spoke about competition between himself and Ewen Macdonald and communication was seen as an issue.

Mr Guy did not want to disappoint his father, he told the jury.

Mr Beca also spoke to Ewen Macdonald and Anna and they had similar concerns.

They wanted to learn all areas of the business and Macdonald mentioned his high level of hours which he felt was not sustainable.

He said they wanted to know how it would work if someone wanted to leave and ensuring enough income for their children.

Bryan and Jo Guy wanted to make sure there were funds for travelling, for moving off the farm and into a new home.

Bryan Guy especially wanted to ensure the level communication between himself, Scott and Macdonald.

10.29am: Guy and Macdonald's farm operations 'not equal'

A family meeting about the farm was held in 2006 was called by Bryan and Jo Guy to discuss the future with all the family.

Diary farm consultant David Beca who facilitated the meeting told the jury to him the diary operation run by Ewen Macdonald was the heart of the operation and produced the great majority of the revenue.

He said the support area run by Scott Guy was assisting with things like raising the feed but could not be considered equal.

Mr Beca said at that stage Bryan Guy still had control and was the main manager.

One of the reasons for the meeting was to plan for the future.

He said the business was successful but like a lot of diary farms was carrying a lot of debt.

10.18am: Jury to hear of farm finances

The jury is to start hearing about the financial situation on the Guy farm from a farm consultant and Scott Guy's father Bryan.

Diary farm consultant David Beca met Bryan Guy and later oversaw a meeting with the family about the future of the farm business.

The jury is still expected to hear a DVD interview with Ewen Macdonald which he gave to police.

Background for day 10

More police interviews with Scott Guy murder-accused Ewen Macdonald will be read and played to the jury this week.

The third week of the trial is set to begin after last week's emotional evidence of the conflicts in the Guy family. The trial is moving into the investigation phase with details of how police narrowed in on Macdonald.

Macdonald has pleaded not guilty to shooting Scott Guy twice in the throat in pre-dawn darkness on Mr Guy's driveway on July 8, 2010.

Jurors are to see a lengthy DVD interview police made with Macdonald before moving on to the scene examination at Mr Guy's home on the morning he was shot.

They will be told about the missing chocolate Labrador puppies, the arson of the old house on Scott and Kylee Guy's property and of malicious letters left in a letterbox, some of which Macdonald has admitted doing. The Crown has told jurors of a campaign designed to drive Mr Guy and his wife off the family farm after months of tension between the two men.

The Crown is now about half way through the list of witnesses it gave to the jury.

Part of the upcoming evidence will be about impressions of dive boots left at the scene, which the Crown say have to be from Macdonald as he had owned a pair of size nine proline dive boots.

The public gallery was packed each day last week and heard emotional evidence from members of the Guy family, especially Kylee and Scott Guy's mother, Joanne Guy.

Anna Macdonald, Ewen Macdonald's wife, was the last family member to give evidence. While she was in the witness box, Macdonald too became tearful.

Members of the family have returned several times to given their evidence about different phases of the investigation.

Day 9: Live coverage

Day 8: Live coverage

Day 7: Live coverage

Day 6: Live coverage

Day 5: Live coverage

Day 4: Live coverage

Day 3: Live coverage

Day 2: Live coverage

Day 1: Live coverage

The Dominion Post