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DIY lawyers appeal nixed in duck death private prosecution


Staff member
Dec 16, 2021
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A Southland man who took private prosecution charges to court relating to the death of his ducks has had his appeal turned down.
Eugene Greendrake unsuccesfully brought private prosecution charges against his former neighbour Wayne McConnochie, alleging reckless ill-treatment of animals under the Animal Welfare Act, and a second charge of being a dog owner making their dog attack animals, under the Dog Control Act.

Judge Russell Walker found the charges had not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, after a full day of evidence at a judge alone trial in the Invercargill District Court in September 2021.

On June 10, 2022, Justice Robert Osborne dismissed Greendrakes application for leave to appeal.

* Southland man's two year legal fight to get justice for his pekin ducks
* Private prosecution charges not proven after fatal attack on ducks

The incident in question concerned two domestic Pekin ducks, which were known to people who lived on Leithen St, Nightcaps, named Drakie and Missy. The latter was also known as Duckie.

In August 2018, a dog attacked the ducks, killing Drakie and injuring Missy. Missy survived but was in the care of a vet for about a week.

A judge decided in 2020 there was a case to answer after Greendrake laid private prosecution charges.

During the trial Judge Walker said there was significant doubt as to whether McConnochie had possession or control of the dog.

In considering leave to appeal, Justice Osborne says Greendrakes complaints combine to the central proposition that the Judge [Walker] reached an incorrect factual conclusion when determining that Greendrake had not established it was McConnochie who was in charge of the dog.

That was a conclusion clearly open to the Judge on the basis of the evidence presented, Justice Osborne says in the decision.

Costs were reserved.

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