EVIDENCE: A cow stolen from Lawrence.
EVIDENCE: A cow stolen from Lawrence. NSW Police

Man convicted of cattle theft near Lawrence

A LAWRENCE man has been convicted for cattle stealing after pleading guilty in Grafton Local Court this week.

Michael Joseph Tarrant, 34, faced court on Wednesday over a charge of stealing 22 head of heifers and calves in November, 2015.

According to police facts, the victim of the theft noticed a number of cows and calves missing from his property on November 13, 2015.

The next day the victim returned and checked the boundary fence, and noticed an area that had signs of recent repair, and visible cattle tracks on the ground leading to the neighbour's property. The tracks led to a set of portable cattle yards set up away from the road and neighbours.

On November 15, the victim contacted police who spoke with the victim and Tarrant, who claimed the cattle belonged to a third party who leased the grazing rights and said the cattle had been there for months.

Police examined the cattle and noted ear markings on the victim's cattles' ears were freshly cut over, and their tagging didn't match that of the 40 other cattle on the property. Three days later a Department of Primary Industries vet examined the cattle and witnessed the recovered calves sucking on cows that were in possession of the victim.

On January 7, 2016, a sample of DNA evidence obtained and analysed showed the recovered cattle were bred as described by the victim.

On September 12 2017, the co-accused in the matter was interviewed by Grafton Police and said he had problems with neighbours allowing cattle to stray onto his property, and that Tarrant had performed fence work on his property, saw cattle on his yard and offered to take them to his property. The co-accused said he helped Tarrant to yard the cattle and load them into a truck the co-accused owned and transport them to Tarrant's property.

A day later police arrested Tarrant, who said he agreed to allow the cattle to be held on his property but said he thought the co-accused was going to contact authorities regarding the identification.

Magistrate Karen Stafford sentenced Tarrant to a two-year good behaviour bond, and he was fined $4000.