Two Hamilton district farming brothers have pleaded guilty to three counts each of aggravated cruelty to livestock and been fined a total of $17,000.
Malcolm Lindsay Ford and Andrew David Ford, of Yulecart, west of Hamilton, appeared in the Hamilton Magistrates Court on Wednesday on six charges each.
Those charges included three counts each of aggravated cruelty to animals, one count of owners failing to notify of livestock disease and two counts each of unreasonably failing to provide treatment for sick animals.
The charges related to cattle with eye cancer over a prolonged period.
The court heard the brothers were distracted from their responsibilities in running the family farm while their elderly parents became sick and eventually passed away.
The maximum penalties for the offences were up to a $82,000 fine.
Prosecutors also requested a control order be put in place for five years to allow oversight of the brothers' farming operation so that officers could ensure any eye cancers were detected early and treated.
On farm inspections led to the prosecution.
Magistrate Nunzio La Rosa said the charges were serious, but he decided to not put in place a control order or convict the brothers.
He said the Ford brothers were third generation farmers with no prior or subsequent charges and their family was well regarded in the district.
The magistrate said the brothers had shifted their attention to their ageing parents, who ultimately had passed away.
He said the visits by inspectors was the "rocket" the brothers needed to get their farming operation back on track.
The court heard the brothers also sold a third of their 1500 strong sheep flock.
The brothers were without conviction fined $8500 each.
In other police news, a 30-year-old Warrnambool man was arrested and charged with invading a sleeping victim's home and inflicting a deep stab wound to his right arm.
Warrnambool police said an incident happened at an address at the eastern end of Warrnambool's Timor Street about 12.30am on Saturday, May 28.
Police allege the 30-year-old and a co-accused went to the Timor Street address and the accused approached the front door of a flat, which was opened by a housemate.
The accused is alleged to have yelled out and stormed past the housemate before going to a bedroom.
He's jumped on the victim, who was asleep in bed, placed him in a headlock and then assaulted the man by kicking and punching him.
The 30-year-old is alleged to have inflicted a deep stab wound to the underside of the victim's upper right arm with an unknown object.
The victim escaped from the house and hid nearby until the 30-year-old and the co-accused left.
Police and an ambulance were called and the man was transported to the Warrnambool Base Hospital for assessment and treatment.
Long-time senior journalist
Long-time senior journalist
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