Jury in deer theft case shown video interview

20:08, Jan 26 2014

The jury in the trial of a man accused of stealing hundreds of deer was yesterday shown his police video interview.

Simon Robert Hawkins faces 22 charges of theft, relating to deer, sheep, velvet and barley taken from Criffel Deer Farm and Wanaka farmer Grant Cochrane between 2009 and 2011.

His trial began in the Invercargill District Court on Monday.

Hawkins was jointly charged with Dean Thomas Herd, the former manager of Criffel Deer Farm, who earlier admitted all charges. The defence maintains Hawkins believed the livestock belonged to Herd.

Yesterday, the jury was shown a police video interview with Hawkins, filmed in September 2011, in which Hawkins described how he was "scared s...less" of what Herd might do after Mr Cochrane confronted him about the stolen sheep.

In the video Hawkins said he had initially covered for Herd, who he thought was a "pretty angry man".

Herd had phoned him repeatedly, telling him to keep his name "out of it" and keep his mouth shut, Hawkins said in the video.

The trial, before Judge Michael Turner, which will continue on Monday.

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The Southland Times