17 Sep 2012

Ewen Macdonald jailed for five years

2:21 pm on 17 September 2012

Ewen Macdonald has been jailed for five years for crimes committed before his brother-in-law Scott Guy was shot dead.

In July this year, a High Court jury acquitted Macdonald of murdering the Feilding farmer. Mr Guy's body was found by a passer-by in the driveway of his farm on 8 July 2010.

Ewen Macdonald.

Ewen Macdonald. Photo: R

At the High Court in Palmerston North on Friday, Justice Simon France sentenced the 32-year-old for six other crimes.

They are: two charges of arson, vandalism of Scott and wife Kylee Guy's new home, poaching and killing two trophy stags, killing 19 calves and deliberate spilling of 16,000 litres of milk from a vat.

Crown prosecutor Paul Murray told the court Macdonald was motivated by vengeance and a sense of entitlement back then - which still seems to exist now.

He said all of the offending was highly premeditated and described Macdonald as the instigator of each and every crime.

The court was told Macdonald had first poached and killed two trophy stags from a neighbour's farm in 2006, then went on with his accomplice Callum Boe to spill 16,000 litres of milk from another farm, burn down a 110-year-old duckshooting hut and kill 19 calves.

The pair also set fire to an old homestead and removal truck causing, $650,000 in damage, and attacked Scott and Kylee Guy's new home with an axe and spray paint.

The Crown sought a starting point of seven years' jail, but defence lawyer Greg King argued that four years was enough.

Mr King told the court that the Feilding farmer has turned his life around since the crimes he was sentenced for. He said Macdonald hated the man he had become and has made real efforts to change his ways.

But Justice France told Ewen Macdonald that he saw and heard no signs of remorse from him - only continuing indifference.

The judge talked about other losses, especially the case of Paul Barber and his wife who were confronted by the sight of 19 dead calves on their property.

Mr Barber's victim impact statement said that was nasty, cruel and senseless - comments Justice France said he agreed with.

Macdonald will be eligible for parole from 7 December this year, after having spent 17 months in custody since being arrested and charged with murdering Scott Guy.

In 2011, Callum Boe was sentenced to two years' jail, reduced to 19 months on appeal, and was released recently.

No satisfaction at sentence - Guy family

Neither the Guy family nor Ewen Macdonald's ex-wife Anna Guy were in court on Friday

In a statement, the Guy family said the sentencing did not give them any closure or satisfaction, but is a reminder that there are consequences for the decisions that Macdonald made.

The statement said the turmoil has brought the family closer together, and it was now determined to create a future built on love and compassion, truth and faith, not on anger or revenge, resentment or sorrow.

Farmer Craig Hocken, whose whose trophy stags were killed by Macdonald, said the five-year sentence was reasonable, so long as he spends the full time in prison.

The animals, valued at $17,500, were killed on Mr Hocken's Colyton property near Feilding in 2006.