Harden man, Jugiong man receive suspended sentences for their role in Queensland cattle theft

Two men have been convicted at Cootamundra Local Court on Monday for their roles in stealing 72 head of cattle worth more than $100,000 from a Queensland property in December, 2015.

Harden man Nigel David Maher, 42, and Jugiong man Stewart Jon Weston, 63, were handed 12-month suspended jail sentences on a Section 12 bond by Magistrate Peter Dare.

Both men had previously entered pleas of guilty to a number of offences relating to the disposal and receiving of cattle stolen outside the state and other offences relating to the transport and receiving of livestock under the Stock Diseases Act and Local Land Services Act.

A joint investigation was initiated between police attached to Cootamundra and Albury Rural Crime Investigation Units in December, 2015.  The investigation revealed that the cattle were stolen from the rural property ‘Mirage Plains’ near Cunnamulla in Queensland. Investigators executed a search warrant at a Harden property on December 16, 2015. The cattle were subsequently returned to a property owned by the victim near Young. 

Maher was convicted for selling and disposing the cattle, and was fined for other offences relating to the transport of the cattle from interstate. Weston was convicted for purchasing and receiving the cattle, and was fined for removing NLIS ear-tags and other offences relating to the transport and receiving of livestock.

Cootamundra police are hopeful the convictions will send a strong message to the rural community that stock theft will not be tolerated and you will be caught and punished.