“COBOURG – Justice Robert Graydon pledged that the four defendants in the April 2012 case involving missing Shropshire sheep will be tried with dispatch, even if it means he has to work on a Saturday.
Charges against the accused in this incident appeared in Cobourg Provincial Court March 27, collectively facing a list of 25 charges that included conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, obstructing a peace officer, obstructing justice and obstructing the Health of Animals Act.
The accused are 58-year-old Michael Schmidt, 52-year-old Suzanne Atkinson, 46-year-old Robert Pinnell and 54-year-old Linda F. Jones.
The charges relate to the disappearance of 31 rare Shropshire sheep that had been slated for slaughter by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on the suspicion of having a disease called scrapie. They disappeared from Jones’ barn however, before the agency could collect them. Agency representatives instead found a note saying the sheep had been taken into protective custody. It was signed by a group called the Farmers Peace Corps.
The sheep ultimately tested negative for the illness.
Ambrose did not have to appear in person, as she has signed a counsel designation to be represented by Richard Aiken. It is expected that Schmidt and Jones will be represented by Chris Schafer but, as yet, no formal council designation has been signed. Pinnell has not yet made a decision.
Justice Graydon asked that all accused make their decisions and sign counsel designations by the return date of May 15.
Karen Selick of the Canadian Constitution Foundation was told that the Crown attorney is laying two additional charges against Jones and that a new batch of evidence was to be handed over….”