Former farm manager jailed for stock theft

A 38-year-old former farm manager has been sent to jail for stealing more than $300,000 worth of stock and farm equipment and products.

Dean Thomas Herd appeared before Judge Michael Turner for sentence today in the Invercargill District Court after admitting 31 charges of theft, relating to deer, sheep, velvet and farm equipment, between 2005 and 2011.

He was sentenced to two years' and four months jail and ordered to pay $2377.50 reparation.

Judge Turner said Herd stole deer velvet and drench and after being promoted farm manager of Criffel Deer Farm, near Wanaka, he stole deer, stags, farm equipment and products and a computer among other items.

He also stole deer from Criffel Station and sheep from a sheep farmer, Judge Turner said.Herd involved another man, Simon Robert Hawkins, who also faced charges but was found not guilty by an Invercargill jury in February.

Herd told police he could not explain why he stole from his employer and others but regarded some of it as perks of the job, Judge Turner said.

Judge Turner accepted Herd was remorseful and had offered to make amends.


The Southland Times