Horse thief Kale Sinclair outside Mackay Courthouse.
Horse thief Kale Sinclair outside Mackay Courthouse.

Horse theft didn't pay for punter

IF Kale Sinclair was in an old western movie they'd string him up for being a horse thief.

Lucky for him, we don't hang horse thieves these days.

But the story of the theft of Gal Fawkes from her owner on the Sunshine Coast would make a good old-fashioned western movie.

It was all revealed in the Mackay Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Gal Fawkes is a hobby-bred racehorse, which has had nine runs for zero wins and no placings.

The owner believed she was worth $30,000.

So her 70-year-old owner, a retired nurse in Yandina, decided to lease her out and advertised her.

Sinclair, 20, who lives in Mackay and has been working as a stable hand since he was about 15, visited the horse twice with a view to leasing her.

The horse disappeared on February 22 and the owner suspected Sinclair and phoned him.

Prosecutor Bimal Raut told the court: "Sinclair told her the horse was in a paddock in Mackay because of an injury. He said it got a snake bite and died so he buried it."

Because Sinclair never signed a lease, the owner notified police.

An investigation was launched by Racing Queensland, detectives in several cities, and the Police Stock Squad.

Gal Fawkes was found safe and well in a paddock at Gracemere, near Rockhampton, and it turned out she'd never been to Mackay.

After he took her, he sold her to a cousin for $620.

Gal Fawkes was identified by Stock Squad officers by her brands - a scroll and dot, and a 2 over a 6.

Police interviewed Sinclair and he admitted taking the horse from Yandina with the intention of forming a syndicate to race her but that didn't happen so he sold her to his cousin.

Sinclair pleaded guilty to horse stealing.

Solicitor David Carlin, of Legal Aid Queensland, said Sinclair was having financial difficulty at the time so he ended up leaving the racing industry for a while.

"He has held a racing licence in the past and if he wants to re-enter racing he'd have to declare any convictions," Mr Carlin said.

"So the recording of a conviction would have a very detrimental effect on his future."

Magistrate Ross Risson said it was silly of Sinclair to put his potential future in the racing industry at risk by stealing a horse.

Sinclair was fined $1000 and no conviction was recorded.

Gal Fawkes has been returned to the Sunshine Coast.

We don't know if she'll be racing again.

But her form is not good.

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