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STATION MANAGER CHARGED Unlawful Possession of Cattle. ALGOORLLEE, Dec. 23.--"Technicaly guilty but, morally, not guilty," was how Mr. J. O'Dea, of O'Dea and O'Dea, pleaded for Michael O'Brien (60), stock man, who was charged in the Kalgoorlle Police Court today with having had in his possession 102 head of cattle, rea sonably suspected of having been stolen. Detective-Sergeant McLernon, who prosecuted, said that O'Brien had been employed as a stockman on Madura station, .about 75 miles south of Loon gana, on the trans-Australian railway line. When the manager of the property died, O'Brien took over the management. At the time the station was owned by a Melbourne company and was heavily mortgaged to the Agricultural Bank. While O'Brien had been in charge, mobs of cattle had been sent in for sale and the proceeds forwarded to the Agri cultural Bank, but the bank had not received any proceeds from cattle sales in the past 12 months. Recently the bank decided to foreclose on the mort gages and, as a result of investigations made, it was found that O'Brien had taken 102 head of cattle from the sta tion to Loongana and had there put another brand on them. Mr. O'Dea said that, at the time of the death of the late manager (Mr. O'Donovan), O'Brien was owed £80 in wages. O'Donovan was one of the larg est shareholders in the Melbourne com pany, which was practically out of exis tence, and Mrs. O'Donovan arranged that O'Brien should continue as manager. After a year she told him that he would have to look to the Agricultural Bank for the money owing to him. O'Brien wrote a strong letter to the bank complaining that it had not treated him fairly to allow him to work for 12 months and then inform him that it did not intend to pay him wages. "He does not feel that he has done anything wrong in taking these cattle," said Mr. O'Dea. "If he had walked off the station two years ago he would have been better off than he is today, but the Agricultural Bank would not have had a single head of stock on the station, and the other assets would not have been in such good order as they are today." "It was a very stupid action, but I have taken all the circumstances sur rounding this case into consideration," said Mr. E. McGinn, R.M., who occupied the Bench. O'Brien was bound over on his own bond of £50 to be of good behaviour for six months and to pay costs amounting to £29.

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