Ewen Macdonald gets five years jail for 'missions'

IN COURT: Ewen Macdonald.
IN COURT: Ewen Macdonald.

Ewen Macdonald, the man found not guilty of murdering his brother-in-law Scott Guy, has been sentenced to five years' jail for other offences.

Macdonald, 32, was acquitted earlier this year of murdering Guy, but admitted six other charges relating to night time "missions" - including arson and vandalism.

He has been in custody since April last year, meaning he has already served a portion of the sentence imposed by Justice Simon France at the Palmerston North District Court today.

EWEN MACDONALD: Set to be sentenced on property damage charges.
EWEN MACDONALD: Set to be sentenced on property damage charges.

The arson charges carried a maximum of 12 years' jail, but Macdonald's partner in crime, former Guy farm worker Callum Boe, was sentenced to two years' prison.

Among those in attendance at Palmerston North District Court today were Macdonald's parents, Kerry and Marlene, as well as Detective Inspector Sue Schwalger, the head of the Guy murder inquiry

The Scott Guy murder trial jury heard how Macdonald and Boe went on a series of what they would call night-time "missions".

Jurors were told about the pair destroying property belonging to Scott Guy and his wife Kylee.

In October 2008 an old farmhouse waiting to be removed from their side of the farm was torched.

Then in January 2009, their new house was vandalised and offensive graffiti was tagged to the outside.

The jury also heard that Macdonald and Boe poached deer from Colyton farmer Craig Hocken in December 2006.

But extensive suppression orders meant the existence of three other charges only emerged last month.

On August 9, 2007, Macdonald and Boe killed 19 calves on Paul Barber's Foxton property.

The calves were bashed on the head with a heavy object.

The previous night the pair destroyed a milk vat belonging to Himatangi farmer Graham Sexton, and the following year burned down a 120-year-old duck shooting whare on Sexton's land.

At Boe's sentencing, Judge Kevin Phillips said Macdonald and Boe committed the crimes against Sexton and Barber as retribution for being trespassed from the area.

Manawatu Standard