Goat thief avoids jail
A BOLLON man who sold 714 wild goats for more than $40,000 pleaded guilty to a fraud charge when he faced Roma District Court on Wednesday.
Joshua Wolff, 36, sold 714 goats for $41,498,64 over an eight-month period from November 2015 to July 2016 after providing false ownership and origin of the goats.
Justice Ian Dearden sentenced Wolff to two years' imprisonment but suspended the sentence for three years' probation.
"The main issue of this offence is the significant value accumulated in a short amount of time,” Justice Dearden said.
"People in the country rely on honesty. This offence is a crying shame and an abuse of trust.”
Prosecutor Sandra Cupina said the one count of fraud captured 15 occasions where the defendant dishonestly produced payments to goat buyer Kevin Murphy from Mansfield at Begonia.
"The defendant was permitted on a number of properties to shoot kangaroos including Glencoe in Bollon and Tartulla at Dunkeld,” Ms Cupina said.
"The owner from Glencoe, Robert Woodward, specifically told the defendant he could not muster the feral goats that were on the property.
"The second property, Tartulla, is owned by Richard Daniells Sr but his son did tell the defendant he could take feral goats from that property if he saw them when out shooting roos. That property was classed as not being goat country and feral goats didn't roam the property.”
The prosecutor told the court the defendant presented a group of goats in November and December 2015 to Mr Murphy and stated the goats were from Glencoe, which he didn't have permission to do.
"Twelve of the 13 occasions the defendant represented the goats came from Tartulla and the 13th occasion he claimed the goats came from Elmina, Wyandra,” Ms Cupina said.
Defence lawyer Henry Trotter said the father of two was embarrassed and remorseful for his actions.