Closing arguments in curious cattle theft case
Muddy tyre tracks, cattle DNA and a receipt for four Cokes and a sausage were among the key points covered in the closing arguments of a cattle theft trial in Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday.
On Monday, Trevor Douglas Zielke, 69, pleaded not guilty to three charges relating to stealing stock.
One of the key pieces of evidence from the prosecution was CCTV footage and a receipt from the Ubobo General Store, allegedly confirming Mr Zielke made a purchase there on Tuesday February 12, 2019.
The store is in the vicinity of Mr Zielke's Aerodrome Rd property where he runs cattle.
It is also in the vicinity of a property Stockwell in the Boyne Valley.
The court heard that a group of cattle a worker did not recognise were found at Stockwell on that day, several of which belonged to Robert Owen Lindley.
The prosecution also argued tyre tracks and indentations on Blackmans Gap Rd, which runs inside Stockwell's boundaries, were consistent with a truck found at Mr Zielke's property.
The court heard that witness for the prosecution, Kyle Beale, drove to the defendant's property on Thursday, February 14 where he observed five weaners and a bull in a yard, one of which had a likeness to one of the Stockwell cattle.
He also saw a truck with lumps of dirt on it.
Police were called and a search warrant was executed.
Several cattle and the truck were seized, and DNA evidence later matched four of the weaners to Mr Lindley's cattle found at Stockwell.
The origin of the fifth calf was not confirmed.
It is believed the bull belongs to Shane Mossman, a neighbour of Mr Zielke's.
The court heard evidence from a recording of an interview between police officer Kellie Moss and Mr Zielke, in which he confirmed there were several cattle on his property that were not his.
He said he had found the "misfits" during a muster earlier in the week.
For the defence, lawyer Rowan King told the court that the prosecution must prove Mr Zielke fraudulently took the cattle located on his property, and those that were allegedly delivered to Stockwell.
He said the cattle found at Mr Zielke's property were not branded, earmarked or put in with the rest of the herd.
Mr King said there was no clear evidence about how the relevant cattle got onto Mr Zielke's property.
He also said that an expert witness for the prosecution could not discount that any other vehicle with similar characteristics to Mr Zielke's could have left the imprints at Stockwell.
The magistrate is expected to deliver her verdict in early March.