New features are coming soon. Login with Facebook to get an early start and help us test them out!
CONVICTED: Was justice served?
more information on voting
When you vote, you are voting on whether or not the punishment fit the crime, NOT on the severity of the case itself. If you feel the sentence was very weak, you would vote 1 star. If you feel the sentence was very strong, you would vote 5 stars.
Please vote honestly and realistically. These ratings will be used a a tool for many future programs, including a "Peoples Choice" of best and worst sentencing, DA and judge "report cards", and more. Try to resist the temptation to vote 1 star on every case, even if you feel that 100 years in prison isnt enough.
Friday, Feb 28, 2003
» Bruce Riddell Jonson
» Jan Jonson
Backed by Federated Farmers, Bruce and Jan Jonson appealed the conviction after a prosecution was brought by the Bay of Islands Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) earlier this year. In Kaikohe District Court, the Jonsons were found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act of failing to meet their animals' physical and health needs. They were each fined $2000 and required to meet the costs of the prosecution.
The Jonsons were farming 39 cattle and two calves on a farm run-off in March 2003 but failed to shift them, despite warnings of heavy rain. The cattle were washed away in a flood and left swimming for their lives. All survived but their health and lives had been at risk, the High Court ruling by Justice Patrick Keane said. He said the Jonsons' stock was "particularly vulnerable" on the run-off, and should have been moved sooner rather than later. "The fact that the flood behaved atypically and cut off the usual line of retreat simply illustrates that nature never behaves completely predictably and that extremes must be anticipated and catered for," Justice Keane said. The Jonsons' cattle and calves were left needlessly exposed, he added.
Mr Jonson's fine of $2000 was confirmed but Mrs Jonson's was reduced to $1000 after the court was told she was taking her terminally ill mother to hospital on the day of the flood. Bay of Islands SPCA inspector James Boyd said the court's warning that professional, part-time and lifestyle farmers must take their duties to their animals seriously was welcome. "Looking after their animals is in the best interests of all farmers, and it is really only a few careless farmers that destroy the reputation of the good majority," Mr Boyd said.