A FORMER Tower Hill share farmer yesterday claimed he sold cows as a form of self-help to cover money he was owed.
Duncan John Smith, 37, of Paisley Crescent, Mooroopna, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool County Court to six counts of theft relating to 22 cows with a meat value of $13,596 and a dairy value of $52,500.
He had appealed against the severity of his six-month jail term imposed in Warrnambool Magistrates Court in October last year, when he was found guilty of nine counts of theft relating to 32 cows and an unknown number of calves valued at about $33,000.
During the second day of a plea hearing yesterday, defence counsel Peter Berman requested his client not be convicted on the new reduced number of charges and the lower value of the livestock.
Mr Berman claimed the farm owners were behind in their payments and Smith had adopted a self-help principle when he sold cows to Midfield Meat. Judge Bill Stuart will hand down a penalty today.