One half of a farming duo was recently released from prison after a judge downgraded his prison sentence to home detention.
Geoffrey Sanson was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court alongside his brother, Richard Sanson, in February for the ill-treatment of sheep on their farms.
Geoffrey was sentenced to one year and 10 months in prison, while Richard was given a longer sentence of two years and two months for assaulting an animal welfare officer with his vehicle in April 2020. The brothers, both in their sixties, farmed three blocks of land – two near Kairanga and one near Bainesse – at the time.
Following a successful sentence appeal, Geoffrey was released from Whanganui Prison earlier this month having served just over a month of his jail term.
His release comes after a Wellington High Court judge, Justice Christine Grice, replaced his prison term with nine months’ home detention, taking into account time already served.
Geoffrey was also indefinitely disqualified from farming. The disqualification, along with the home detention sentence, met the principles of sentencing, including to denounce the offending and deter the offender and others, Justice Grice said.
“The offending in this case is atrocious. However, the appellant will never be able to inflict such ill-treatment on animals again. He has in this way been held accountable for the harm,” she said.
His brother, however, remains in jail.