The Examiner Newspaper:-Saturday 3 March 1934
Another Charge Dismissed
A charge of having had in his possession at Glengarry four sheep, the property of W. C. Gowans, and reasonably supposed to be stolen, without being able to give a satisfactory account of his possession, against George Stewart Prosser in the City Police Court
yesterday was dismissed after its hearing before Mr. E. L. Hall, P.M.
Mr. Tasman Shields appeared for Prosser and Detective-Sergeant W. S. C. Brown conducted the prosecution on beif half of the police.
Trooper E. H. Medwln, of Beaconsfield, said that in consequence of a report received he visited the defendant's farm and informed the defendant of the report of the missing sheep and asked him if he had any sheep bearing Gowans' registered ear mark.
The Defendant said: "Yes. I have three with oar marks resembling those of Mr.
Prosser was then requested to gather his sheep, numbering 57, none of which
were branded. Defendant stated that to the best of his knowledge the three sheep bearing Gowans' ear mark had as been purchased from Kenneth Beaten at the Beaconsfield sale in March of last year. They bore Kenneth Beaten's body brand at the time.
Walter Charles Gowans, of Glengarry,
said that the four sheep in the defendant's possession were his property. Between August, 1933, and January, 1934,
witness lost 142 sheep, and, allowing for 52 deaths, 90 had been stolen. Defendant informed witness in December that several of witness' sheep had strayed on to his land. Witness secured 15 of these sheep, but could not find a long-tailed lamb. Later he found
the lamb in one of, the defendant's paddocks. and in getting it he noticed that three sheep, in the paddock bore his ear of mark
Mr. Shields-The defendant opposed you once for the Beaconsfield Council, and was there not a good deal of ill-feeling between you?
Witness--No. The wool produced in the court would come off the type of sheep in question.
There would be hundreds of sheep of that sort in the district?--Yes.
Errold Miller, of Glengarry, said he sheared Prosser's sheep last December.
During the operations he pointed out to Prosser that some of the sheep had
Gowans' ear mark and that others had- two brands. Prosser stated that the sheep in question had been purchased at the Beaconslield sales.
1- Douglas Harris White (15), of Winkleigh, said that in March of last year
- he took over about 30 sheep from the Beaconsfield sale yards for Prosser.
He drove them about nine miles on the first day and left them for the night,
with 20 other sheep he was droving for Mr. McBain, at Mr. Kerrison's property.
The next morning he counted the sheep and delivered Mr. McBain his twenty
and took the remainder to Prosser.
To Mr. Shields-l did run into another man driving about 60 or 70 sheep
on the way, but we did not get mixed, Detective T. Burke stated that on
January 17 last, in company with Detective-Sergeant W. S. C. Brown, Mr. Gowans, and Troopers Medwin and Newman, he visited the defendant's farm. Prosser was asked to give an account of his possession of the sheep
claimed by Gowans, and he said that to the best of his knowledge and belief they were portion of the 29 sheep he purchased from Kenneth Beaten at the Beaconsfield sale in March of last year.
He had assisted in the gathering of his sheep for shearing, and his attention had been drawn to some sheep bearing Gowans' ear mark. He remarked then that they were sheep purchased at the Beaconsfield sale. Witness' thought that, after hearing the result of the enquiries from Beaton and others, the defendant seemed content to allow the sheep to be returned to Gowans.
George Stewart Prosser said his age was 63 next birthday. He had lived all his life in Tasmania, and had never faced a charge of any kind previously.
Mr. Gowans lived within a mile and a half of defendant, and his nearest paddock was half a mile away from defendant's house.
Witness dealt in sheep and cattle, and had bought several lots of sheep since the Beaconsfield sale in March of last year. He did not have an ear-mark of his own.' but sheep on his property bore about eight different ear
marks of previous owners.
Witness remembered telephoning Gowans to get some of his straying sheep, and rmembered Gowans noticing the three sheep with his (Gowans') ear mark in the paddock. Witness told Mr. Gowans that to the best of his
knowledge and belief these were bought at the Beaconsfield sale of last year.
Gowans said he would see if the sheep had been sold by Beaten at the sale
referred to, and witness told Gowans to let him know if he found that the sheep had not been sold by Beaten.
The magistrate said there was only slender evidence to allow of the sheep being "reasonably supposed to be stolen." Sheep, unlike other property, could move around the country of their own will.