When former Feilding man Callum Boe helped Ewen Macdonald kill 19 calves with a hammer, he realised his older sidekick was "capable of doing anything".
Details of a previously suppressed argument made in Queenstown District Court in September by Boe's lawyer, Anne Stevens, have been reported in Queenstown-based newspaper Mountain Scene.
The "vulnerable" Boe - then aged 18 - feared that if he didn't go along with Macdonald's revenge attacks between 2006 and 2009, he would be the next target for retribution, Ms Stevens told the court. Boe was sentenced to two years' prison for arson, theft and intentional damage.
Macdonald has pleaded guilty to six charges and last month was found not guilty of the July 2010 killing of his brother-in-law, Scott Guy.
While the jury in Macdonald's trial heard he and Boe had poached deer and destroyed two homes on Mr Guy's property, three other charges Macdonald had pleaded guilty to were suppressed so that he would get a fair trial.
The jury at Macdonald's trial did not hear how he and Boe used a hammer to kill 19 calves belonging to Foxton farmer Paul Barber in August 2007.
The pair also emptied a milk vat on the neighbouring farm of Nigel Sexton and his father, Graham Sexton, that same day, and in March 2008 burned down a 120-year-old duck-shooting whare belonging to the Sextons.
Macdonald is still to be sentenced while Boe has already been released from jail after serving his sentence.
It was the calf killings which brought fear to Boe, Ms Stevens said at the September hearing.
“That incident changed his view of Macdonald. He now saw a callous man capable of doing anything,” Mountain Scene reported.
Boe was afraid that if he refused to go along with any of the subsequent missions, Macdonald would carry out revenge attacks on him or his grandparents, Ms Stevens told Judge Kevin Phillips.
“He was vulnerable to an older, manipulative man and he behaved in a way that is entirely out of character.”
Macdonald is in custody awaiting sentence on six charges.
- Manawatu Standard
Have you had a garage sale lately?Related story: Garage sale turf under threat