Community service for cattle attack role

Last updated 13:00 18/12/2012

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A second Motueka man has admitted his role in the shooting of two cattle in the Motueka Valley with a crossbow.

Fishing boat crew member Robert Hearsey, 32, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of an animal when he appeared in the Nelson District Court yesterday.

A charge of ill-treating an animal was withdrawn.

His co-offender, Gavin John Roberst, whom police said was the lead offender in the incident, was sentenced in September, following a status hearing, to 200 hours of community work and ordered to pay $2000 in reparations.

The cattle were valued at $2000 each.

Prosecutor Sergeant Graeme Eden said Hearsey went to an archery store in April and purchased a crossbow and six razor tipped arrows.

In May he and Roberst went hunting at night.

A cattle beast was shot in the side of the head and in the brisket area. It collapsed and died.

A second cattle beast was speared in the head and it survived. Its owner found it in a distressed condition the next day and it had to be put down.

On June 11 police searched Hearsey's house.

Hearsey said he did not shoot the cattle beast.

He told police he had shot two pukekos with two of the blades and gave the others to someone he did not know.

Lawyer Mark Dollimore said Hearsey accepted the summary of facts, and admitted that he did know about the incident.

Mr Dollimore said Hearsey had had a difficult time since the charges were laid and had been ostracised since his involvement in the incident when a photo of the cattle beast with the arrow in its head was published.

He had been kicked out of two rental properties.

Hearsey wanted to emphasise that he had not fired the arrow and had no idea it was going to go into the animal's head.

Judge Zohrab ordered Hearsey to pay $2000 at $30 a week and ordered him to do 175 hours of community work.

Motueka police said at the time of the attack it was a deliberate attempt to put the beasts in the freezer. Police had seen an increase in rustling over the past year.

There had been sheep rustling incidents near Motueka, Tapawera and Murchison, and police had made arrests of people found with both dead and live sheep.

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- The Nelson Mail

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