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N.T. Cattleman

To Stand Trial

DARWIN, Wednesday. - Hugh Wason Byers, a well-known Northern Territory cattleman, was to-day com- mitted for trial by a "flying police Court" at Anthony's Lagoon Station on a charge of stealing 88 head of cattle, valued at £1,056.

The cattle were alleged- ly stolen from Bovril Aus- tralian Estates, owners of the Victoria River Downs Station.

Byers is manager of Cooli- bah Station, 300 miles south of Darwin, and the third largest station in the Terri-


Byers was released on £300 bail, and his own surety of

the same amount.

It is the biggest case of al- leged cattle stealing in the his- tory of the Territory.

Byers was playing the part of Felix Romeo in the color film "Jedda," which was filmed by the Chauvel Film Unit at Coolibah recently.

The stipendiary magistrate, Mr. M. L. Reilly, the Crown Prosecutor, Mr. R. L. Odium, and counsel for Byers, Mr. J. Merity, flew in a single-en gined aircraft 600 miles south- east of Darwin to Anthony's Lagoon for the court case.

The Court had to be held (here, because the cattle al- legedly stolen were seized at the station.

The "court-room" was the police station verandah.


Three of Byers's Aboriginal employees, Duncan, Hector, and Bloomer, said in evidence they helped Byers to muster the cattle on the Victoria River Downs Station and later brand them.

They said they branded

the Coolibah brand, MTQ, over the bull's head brand be- longing to Victoria River Downs They also branded the cleanskins mustered.

Senior Constable Gordon Stott, of Elliott, said he in- spected a mob of 1200 cattle at the bore on Anthony's Lagoon Road on July 4 Later the cattle were put through a dip and each beast was in- spected

He said 104 beasts with badly blotched brands were taken out of the mob

Stott said the horns of the bull's head brand showed clearly above the letter Q of the MTQ biand on most of

the cattle seized

On August 3 he went to Coolibah Station and told Byers he wanted to question the natives After the ques

Honing of the nitnes Byers refused to say anything


The manager of Victoria River Downs, Adair Suther- land McColl, said he claimed ownership of 88 head of cattle out of the 104 seized by the police.

He told Mr Mcnty there were thousands of Victoria River Downs cattle on the stock route and a travelling mob could easily pick some


He suspected lhere had been some stealing of the cattle It was possible for people to go on to remote parts of the Vic- toria River Downs and mustci cattle and change the brands

The manager of Dalmore Downs Station, Hugh Van Heythusen, was chaigcd with receiving 88 head of the cattle which Byers is charged with stealing

His case was heard at An thony's Lagoon police court to day, but details arc not yet known here

The mob from which the polie; seized 104 head was being driven from Coolibah to Dalmore Downs Station which is owned b> Smith and Spoonci, Tom Piper roods, Melbourne

Mr A J Moir, counsel for Van Heythusen flew from Melbourne to lennint Cicck and then tnvcllcd 220 miles by taxi to Anthony s Lagoon

The Cioun is expected to seek a special commission for the Supreme Court trial to be held at Anthony's* Lagoon be-

cause the cattle arc held lhere.

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