Bamawm man Francis Monaghan will stand trial on charges relating to tractor thefts after pleading not guilty in Echuca Magistrates' Court yesterday.
A Bamawm man accused of stealing John Deere tractors and other farm equipment will stand trial.
Francis Harold Monaghan, 56, pleaded not guilty in Echuca Magistrates’ Court yesterday on 17 charges, including eight counts of theft.
He also faces three counts of dishonest undertaking in realisation of stolen goods, four of dealing with property suspected to be the proceeds of crime, one of theft of a motor vehicle and one of handling stolen goods.
Magistrate Richard Wright committed him to stand trial in the County Court.
The court heard from six witnesses in yesterday’s committal hearing, which lasted about 4 hours.
One witness told the court he had falsified a receipt for a tractor for Mr Monaghan and another said Mr Monaghan had purchased a stolen quad bike from him.
Arthur Henry Murfitt, 51, of Pyramid Hill, told the court how he leased 160 cows off Mr Monaghan at his then property at Scott’s Creek, near Colac.
When Mr Monaghan took the cows back, 30 of them had died.
The court heard Mr Monaghan told Mr Murfitt he owed him $30,000 for the missing cows.
He then met Mr Murfitt and his brother at a Geelong hotel in March 2010 and asked them to write a receipt for him for a Massey Ferguson tractor and he would waive the debt.
Mr Murfitt said his brother Malcolm wrote the receipt and he signed it.
‘‘I never owned a Massey Ferguson tractor,’’ Arthur Murfitt said.
‘‘He (Mr Monaghan) knew the only way I could pay $30,000 was if I signed the receipt.
‘‘If I didn’t do it, I was looking at bankruptcy.’’
Mr Murfitt told the court he thought Mr Monaghan owned the tractor for which he had asked the receipt.
However, Mr Murfitt denied signing a second receipt for a 6420 John Deere tractor.
Malcolm David Murfitt, 57, of Pyramid Hill, said he and his brother met Mr Monaghan and he recalled writing the receipt for the Massey Ferguson tractor.
Defence solicitor Ron Tait asked Mr Murfitt if he remembered what Mr Monaghan had said about the receipt, he said Mr Monaghan had told him ‘‘I own this tractor. Just give me a receipt to say I bought it off you’’.
Arthur Murfitt told the court he had been to Mr Monaghan’s Lowry Rd property ‘‘a couple of times’’ after he had taken his cows back, including one time when he dropped off a quad bike with his then friend Donald Alexander Bailey, 37, of Winton.
However, Mr Murfitt told the court he did not realise Mr Bailey had stolen the motorbike and he was not present at the discussion about the sale of it.
Mr Murfitt also denied knowing that another quad bike Mr Bailey had offered Mr Monaghan to buy, which was later found at his Pyramid Hill property, was stolen.
However, in his evidence yesterday, Mr Bailey said Arthur Murfitt knew both motorbikes were stolen and had received a $500 cut on the sale of the first motorbike, for introducing Mr Bailey to Mr Monaghan.
Peter Raymond Cameron, 59, who farmed a property next to one of Mr Monaghan’s at Kotta gave evidence that he had noticed a John Deere tractor at Mr Monaghan’s farm in late 2011 and early 2012.
He also reported seeing a front end loader attached to a John Deere tractor around this time, and had seen a baler and mower-conditioner in machinery sheds at the farm.
On questioning, Echuca Police Senior Constable Raymond McNish told the court no fingerprints could be lifted from a stolen John Deere tractor found at Mr Monaghan’s property.
The other machinery found there was not forensically checked.
Senior Constable McNish and Echuca Crime Investigation Unit Senior Detective Brendon Murphy both refused to give the name of an informant who helped with the case.
A Tamleugh North farmer has described the theft of four sheep fences from his tornado-damaged property ''a low act''.
Most people at the J C Lowe Oval left on Saturday evening talking about the game but not the result. Pigeon Coach Chris Kennedy summed up the feeling adequately when he said after the game; “it was a frustrating game, but my players weren’t responsible for the frustration.”
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
A Kyabram man who struck a cyclist on Echuca-Moama bridge with a beer can thrown from the vehicle he was in was convicted and fined $400 in Moama Local Court on Wednesday.
A Rochester mother told a health forum about the devastating effect drugs have had on her family.
Over six hours of junior football is scheduled for Kyabram Recreation Reserve this Sunday.
Ten people were injured after Two Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) collided during a training course at the Puckapunyal Military Training Range in on Wednesday, May 22.
The Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre has secured a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Australia.
A purpose-built bike, equipped with amateur radio, will be on the O'Keefe Rail Trail tomorrow.
Cobram residents John Anderson and Ian Cobb will race down memory lane this weekend when they compete in the annual Historic Winton.
Deniliquin Fire and Rescue's open day has been hailed a success by captain Bill Muirhead.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is investigating incidents of abortion or still-births under the Lamb and Kid Mortality Surveillance Project.(LKSMP).
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.