More charges revealed after acquittal
TRANSPORT AND METRO REPORTER
The full extent of Ewen Macdonald's criminal past is yet to be revealed. It can now be reported that the Feilding farmer is awaiting sentence on a total of six charges, to which he pleaded guilty in Palmerston North District Court last May.
He was found not guilty on Tuesday of murdering his brother-in-law, Scott Guy, outside his rural Feilding home in July 2010.
But Macdonald has admitted poaching two deer from a Feilding farm in December 2006, burning down an old farmhouse on Mr Guy's property in October 2008, and vandalising his new home with an axe and offensive graffiti in January 2009.
He did so with the help of Callum Boe, who worked on the Guy family farm that Macdonald and Mr Guy managed jointly.
The details of the other three crimes have been suppressed until his court appearance in Palmerston North at the end of the month, where it is expected a sentencing date will be set.
But, although police have vowed to consider any new evidence that might come in, Macdonald can never be retried for the murder of his brother-in-law.
The only basis for reopening the case against him would be if it was found he had manufactured false evidence that secured his acquittal, criminal lawyer Jonathan Eaton said yesterday.
Otherwise, the Bill of Rights would prevent a retrial for murder.
"Double jeopardy will prevent him from ever being tried again ... It wouldn't matter what further evidence came [out] that was deemed to be stronger evidence against him.
"The only way the case would be reopened is if evidence against someone else was established by police ..."
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you always wear a helmet while cycling?Related story: Cyclists creative on cycle helmet waivers