Victim blasts 'bad apple' Macdonald
One of Ewen Macdonald's victims has labelled the former Feilding farmer a "bad apple" as more details of his offending emerge.
Suppression orders lifted yesterday mean the full extent of Macdonald's illegal activities can now be reported.
He was acquitted by a High Court jury last month of murdering his brother-in-law, Scott Guy, but has admitted six other charges on which he will be sentenced next month.
Macdonald and former family farm worker Callum Boe went on a series of night-time "missions" that included burning down a hut, destroying 16,000 litres of milk and killing a herd of calves.
The murder trial jury did not hear of these "missions", but was told about the pair destroying property belonging to Scott and Kylee Guy and poaching deer from Colyton farmer Craig Hocken.
One of the newly revealed charges was for killing 19 calves on Paul Barber's Foxton property overnight on August 9, 2007. They were all bashed on the head with a heavy object, thought to be a ball-peen hammer.
It is understood the killings were in revenge for Macdonald being caught poaching on a neighbouring property.
Macdonald has also admitted that, just the night before, he destroyed a vat of milk at Himatangi farmer Graham Sexton's property.
The following year, he burned down a 120-year-old duck shooting "whare" on Mr Sexton's land.
The overall loss of the calves, milk and property was valued at between $500,000 and $600,000.
Boe, who had an alibi for the time Scott Guy was killed and did not give evidence at Macdonald's trial, was jailed for two years on September 5 last year.
He had worked at the Guys' farm before leaving to live in Queenstown with his brother in April 2010.
It was when he was spoken to by police about the offending with Macdonald that the investigation into Mr Guy's murder turned to focus on Macdonald.
Part of the trial evidence was how Macdonald and Boe called their trips "missions" and would talk about going to do a "mission".
Mr Hocken said the two trophy stags the pair shot and removed from his property were worth $17,000 and were not insured.
The deer were in a front paddock of his 40-hectare property and Macdonald and Boe used a ute and trailer to remove the carcasses overnight on December 30, 2006.
Mr Hocken didn't hear anything. He said he knew Macdonald as a "passing acquaintance", as their children attended the same school, but they weren't close enough to have a beer at the pub.
"There's bad apples in every barrel," he said.
"No matter what you do, in all walks of life, there's people out there to rip you off and get as much for themselves as they can.
"I'm still pretty pissed off about it. Unfortunately, it's not like an apple tree. If someone steals your apples you can get more next year.
"If someone steals your trophy stag, it's gone. You've grown it for eight or nine years for nothing."
Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei provincial president Andrew Hoggard said it was a real shock to discover Macdonald had admitted to what were acts of sabotage.
“We respect the jury's decision that Macdonald was not guilty of the murder of Scott Guy.
“But we genuinely thought crimes like this were committed by some low-life toe-rag who'd never worked a decent day in their life."
He described Macdonald's actions as "cold and calculating" and disturbing from a man who knew the codes of animal welfare on a farm.
“Farms absolutely turn on trust. Since it has been reported Macdonald has admitted to these crimes, how could you put your undivided trust in him? Speaking personally, I couldn't.”
December 30, 2006: Ewen Macdonald killed two trophy stags on Craig Hocken's Feilding property.
August 9, 2007: Intentionally destroyed 16,000 litres of milk at Graham Sexton's farm at Himatangi.
August 9, 2007: Intentionally killed calves causing loss to farmer Paul Barber at Foxton.
March 21, 2008: Damaged a duck-shooting whare belonging to Graham Sexton.
October 24, 2008: Damaged an old house by fire on Scott and Kylee Guy's property in Feilding.
January 30, 2009: Vandalism of Scott and Kylee Guy's new home in Feilding.
July 8, 2010: Scott Guy shot dead at the end of his driveway in the early hours of the morning.
April 7, 2011: Macdonald arrested for murder.
June 5, 2012: Trial begins in the High Court at Wellington. He is acquitted a month later.
September 14, 2012: Macdonald to be sentenced in the High Court at Palmerston North on six remaining charges.
The Dominion Post