Cattle dealer duped farming family into buying 'poor quality' stock
A Northern Ireland cattle dealer who duped a farming family into buying poor quality animals walked free from court this week when his three-month jail term was suspended for two years.
Dungannon Magistrates Court also heard that 56-year-old David Lee is set to lodge an appeal to fight to clear his name of fraud.
District Judge John Meehan told the fraudster he had treated his victims and farming regulations "with complete disregard".
Last month Lee, from the Carrickaness Road, was warned he was "on the knife edge" of custody when DJ Meehan adjourned the case to allow him time to find restitution for his victim.
This week, the court heard the £6,000 (€6,800) restitution is with Lee's solicitor but payment has been postponed as Lee intends to fight to clear his name of the fraud convictions.
In addition, Judge Meehan also fined Lee £2,000 (€2,300).
Lee had earlier pleaded guilty to 14 offences of failing to notify the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) of cattle movement and following a part heard contest, was convicted of three other offences of fraud by falsely representing that two calves he sold to Patrick McGorrey had only been moved twice, providing a false statement to the DARD and failing to keep a herd register, all committed between May 25 and October 8, 2015.
Describing how the McGorry family were left "swimming on their own" after they unsuspectingly bought poor quality cattle from Lee in 2015, Judge Meehan previously said that not only had they been left out of pocket with ongoing vet bills but Lee had also run rough shod over the rules and regulations of cattle movement.