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Published: 2010-09-14 00:00:00

Crafar family appeals against conviction and sentence in a Hamilton dairy effluent prosecution have been dismissed by the High Court in Hamilton.

The appeals related to effluent prosecutions brought by Environment Waikato following problems in 2007 and 2008 at a property owned by Hillside Limited in Collins Rd, southwest of Hamilton.

Hillside Limited and directors Allan and Frank Crafar were fined $29,500 each on 10 charges, while Allan’s wife Elizabeth, another director, was fined $1500 on four charges.

In a judgment issued yesterday, Justice Pamela Andrews said Allan, Frank and Elizabeth Crafar could not succeed on any of the grounds of their appeals against conviction and dismissed them.

She also found that they could not succeed in their appeal against the fines imposed.

In their appeal, the Crafars had argued that they should not have been found guilty by the district court in their personal capacity. They also said the judge erred by holding them criminally liable for the actions of their sharemilker and identified other grounds for appeal. It was argued the fines imposed on the Crafar brothers were excessive.

However, in dsmissing all the grounds for appeal, Justice Andrews said the fines imposed on the Crafar brothers were at the lower end of the scale for the offending involved. "They can in no way be described as manifestly excessive."

EW’s investigations and complaints manager Patrick Lynch said Justice Andrews’ decision had again confirmed that the council had brought appropriate prosecutions in the Hillside case.

"We take any decision to prosecute very seriously and have robust processes to ensure we only take action where warranted. It’s heartening that our processes have stood up to scrutiny by the high court as well as the district court."