From the Courts
December 12, 2017
Cattle thief sentenced to nine months

Joey Browne will spend the next nine months behind bars for theft of a large bull.

The 28-year-old farmer of Chapmans, who demonstrated unruly behaviour throughout the hearing, was sentenced by magistrate Rickie Burnett at the Colonarie Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, December 7.

He was charged with taking the bull from Soft Stone mountain between Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14, 2017, following which he made arrangements with a butcher, Terrance Nickie of Byera, to purchase the animal.

When he took the witness stand on Monday, December 4, the butcher told the court he was directed to an area not far from the North Union Secondary School, where he met Joey, who took him to see the bull.

Nickie told the court that his suspicions were aroused when Browne priced the large bull at $3,800, but gladly agreed to take $2,600.

He also claimed that Browne showed up in slippers and shorts and being in the business since he was very young, he knew that farmers don’t operate that way.

Nickie left the scence and went to inquire about the animal, which alerted its owner Osborne Bacchus.

Nyala Clarke, the defendant’s witness, told the court she was aware of Browne’s whereabouts all day Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14.  When questioned about this, an annoyed Clarke blurted out “We were having sex whole day Friday and Saturday; we stop to eat and go again.”

As the courtroom erupted in laughter, Browne smiled. He had earlier told the court that on the day in question, he went to the mountain for animals for a friend, then helped with a barbecue before retiring at his neighbour for the night.

Browne was found guilty of the charge and will spend the next nine months in prison. 

Magistrate Burnett commented that since he has been in the district, farmers have been crying out and he is trying to send a message, but persons are not hearing. 

On leaving with the officers, Browne indicated he intends to appeal the matter.  The bull was kept briefly as an exhibit before being handed over to its owner Osborne Bacchus.(CJ)