A Coromandel farmer was sentenced in the Tauranga District Court yesterday to 9 months imprisonment and ordered to pay reparation for offences commited in 2007.
The farmer used a computer for dishonest purposes by directing Fonterra to pay his sharemilkers deferred milk payments into his own company account. The farmer then terminated the sharemilking contract.
The judge said the offending was malicious and intended to cause harm to the sharemilkers.
This is a landmark case for the industry and shows that farmers are no longer protected from unlawfully taking sharemilkers milk proceeds.