New twist in Scott Guy case

By Kathryn Powley

Police papers reveal third man went poaching with Ewen Macdonald before Scott Guy's murder.

Ewen Macdonald was acquitted of murdering Feilding farmer Scott Guy. Photo / Getty Images
Ewen Macdonald was acquitted of murdering Feilding farmer Scott Guy. Photo / Getty Images

Police records released for the first time show a third man was involved at least once in a night poaching mission well before the inquiry that put murder accused Ewen Macdonald in jail.

Macdonald was found not guilty of murdering his Feilding brother-in-law Scott Guy, but he was jailed on other charges.

Macdonald and friend Callum Boe admitted arson, intentional damage, killing calves and destroying milk.

The police papers were released to the Herald on Sunday under the Official Information Act and reveal Macdonald and Boe had company on the night that appears to have triggered their most serious acts of violence.

Former Feilding builder Tim Watson's involvement was fleeting. After joining them on the poaching expedition he did not meet Boe again and he had little to do with Macdonald.

But his account to police reveals the dynamics and risk-taking during Macdonald and Boe's so-called "missions".

Watson, who had known Macdonald for several years, said this week he did not want to comment on the documents but he said the jury got it right in acquitting Macdonald of murder.

"I want to put it behind me.

"From the time I spent with Ewen I don't think he did it," referring to the murder charge.

The documents show Watson joined Macdonald and Boe on a mission to poach deer on a Foxton Beach farm. It was the night their lives began unravelling.

They were caught, trespassed, the police were involved and their families found out. No charges were laid, but soon after Macdonald and Boe took revenge - arson, killing calves, destroying milk.

In his "witness statement" on March 8, 2011, Watson told police Macdonald knew he was a keen hunter and invited him to the Sexton family's Foxton Beach farm on June 26, 2007, about 11pm. "Ewen and Callum picked me up from home in the farm ute ... Callum was already in the vehicle when I was picked up. That's when I first met him. He was sitting in the middle as he was smaller than me.

"We all wore just green clothing and jackets. We had a spotlight. We had video cameras ... We were there to hunt and kill the Sambar [deer], but we had a genuine interest in filming them also." They had a gun with a silencer which he thought belonged to Boe, cameras, water and food.

"It was pitch black at that time of the night ... I knew from when I got into the ute and we started talking about the place that we weren't supposed to be in that area and we didn't have permission to hunt there."

They walked two or three hours and saw plenty of deer, shooting one.

"I can't remember if it was Ewen or Callum that shot it. I think the boys got worried about the noise of the shot, so they just left it. I was disappointed with that. I was trying to convince them to at least take the hide, but they didn't."

When they got back the ute had gone. Watson claims Macdonald and Boe told him to take the gun and wait by the road while they searched for the ute. "I waited for about 20 minutes, maybe a half an hour. Ewen and Callum came back to where I was and said the police had the ute in Foxton. I was thinking we needed to get home so I rang [name blanked out] on my cell phone."

Macdonald, he claims, was worried about losing the rifle so they hid it behind a fence. About 1am or 2am police arrived. He said Macdonald had told the others "how it would go" and did the talking.

"He said we were there to film Sambar and we weren't hunting."

The officer drove away. Their ride home arrived, they retrieved the rifle and left. It was 4am by the time they got home.

In a hand-written statement to Foxton police the next morning, Macdonald said they had only two battery spotlights and his video camera. He said they'd had no firearms.

Watson told police he knew that the other two - who the documents reveal poached in the area 100-200 times - had a meeting to resolve things with the Sextons.

"I haven't talked to Callum again since this incident. This was the one and only time I have come in contact with him ... I haven't been hunting with Callum or Ewen since and don't intend to ... I should also mention, after Ewen had that meeting with the property owner, he said it wasn't going to stop him from going there hunting."

Macdonald also took his revenge. He is serving a five-year sentence after admitting charges of theft, intentional damage, arson and graffiti. Boe has served a 19-month sentence for the same charges - some of which happened on the Barber and Sexton farms in the area.

Inspector Sue Schwalger said Watson's experience with the pair was largely irrelevant to the murder case.

Tim Watson's NZ Police Witness Statement, March 8, 2011

"Ewen knew I was keen on hunting. He said he knew of an area where we could get some Sambar deer. He showed me heads he'd shot in the past and said he was heading out and would I like to come along ... So we went down at about 11pm ... Ewen and Callum picked me up from home in the farm ute ... Callum was already in the vehicle when I was picked up. That's when I first met him. He was sitting in the middle as he was smaller than me. We all wore just green clothing and jackets.

We had a spot light. We had video cameras ... We were there to hunt and kill the Sambar, but we had a genuine interest in filming them also. ...

On the way to the area we were talking about where the deer had been seen before. We just had one firearm. That was Callum's from what I understand. It was a Sako 30-06. It had a wooden stock. It was suppressed, which means it has a silencer on the end of it. We just had small day packs to carry the cameras, some water and a little bit of food. I don't know what footwear the other boys had on, but I'm pretty sure I just had those Hitechs on ...

We had to open a gate with a latch to get into the paddock where we left the ute ... It was pitch black at that time of the night ... I knew from when I got into the ute and we started talking about the place that we weren't supposed to be in that area and we didn't have permission to hunt there ...

When we arrived, I think Ewen left the keys in the vehicle or on the tyre, I can't remember. We walked for about two or three hours and saw plenty of deer. We were spot-lighting them.

We tried filming them, but that didn't work. We ended up shooting one spiker, I think it was. I can't remember if it was Ewen or Callum that shot it.

I think the boys got worried about the noise of the shot, so they just left it. I was disappointed with that. I was trying to convince them to at least take the hide, but they didn't. I had no idea where I was on the property. I don't know if we were on the Sextons' or on that other property. We walked back to where the ute was and obviously it was gone ...

They told me to take the gun and go straight out to the road and I think they were going to the nearest house to ask what happened to the ute or to see if it was parked around there ... I waited for about 20 minutes, maybe a half an hour. Ewen and Callum came back to where I was and said the police had the ute in Foxton. I was thinking we needed to get home so I rang [name blanked out] on my cell phone ...

Ewen was saying we didn't want the rifle taken so we needed to keep it behind the fence. It must have been about 1am or 2am at this stage. At some stage after Ewen and Callum arrived back to the roadside a police pulled up to us. Ewen did the talking. Callum may have said something. All I remember was giving my name to the policeman ...

Because we were wearing hunting gear it was pretty obvious as to what we were up to ... Ewen told the police officer we were just trying to film the deer ... We told the officer we were getting a ride ... The police officer drove away. About 30 minutes later [name blanked out] arrived and picked us all up. ...

We retrieved the rifle from behind the fence and left the area. We took Ewen and Callum back to Ewen's house. We would have got back about 4am. "I just went home and went to bed. I told [name blanked out] the whole saga. I told [name blanked out] everything.

Before the cop car turned up we talked about what we were going to say if the police turned up. It was Ewen that was telling us how it would go. He said we were there to film Sambar and we weren't hunting. We all agreed that was what we would say. ...

I know they did have a meeting with one of the owners of the property we were on, or the Sextons'. I think Ewen's dad wanted to sort it out ...

I haven't talked to Callum again since this incident. This was the one and only time I have come in contact with him. As a result of this incident I received a trespass notice for the property the ute was on. I'm pretty sure the area we went into was a different farm property. I haven't been hunting with Callum or Ewen since and don't intend to ...

I should also mention, after Ewen had that meeting with the property owner, he said it wasn't going to stop him from going there hunting."

- Herald on Sunday

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