Cattle thief avoids prison

A 53-year-old Ponoka man received a community-based sentence last week after he pleaded guilty to uttering forged documents in the theft of thousands of dollars worth of cattle.

A 53-year-old Ponoka man received a community-based sentence last week after he pleaded guilty to uttering forged documents in the theft of thousands of dollars worth of cattle.

Robert Dempsey Jackson was handed a 16-month conditional sentence, including the first eight under house arrest, when he appeared in Wetaskiwin Court of Queen’s Bench.

The former employee of Vold Jones Vold Auction Co. Ltd., in Ponoka was accused of forgery in the disappearance of cattle over several years.

The charges were laid on Oct. 15, 2007, after reports that scores of cattle were missing from the auction mart.

The other eight months of his sentence will include a curfew.

Jackson is also required to perform 70 hours of community work and pay back $30,000.

Jackson instructed his lawyer to admit to “a few occasions” when he diverted cattle at the market for his gain.

Jackson had been set to stand trial on more than a dozen charges but changed his plea on seven of the charges to guilty.

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