“Charges of theft and mischief against Michael Schmidt have been dismissed.
The Durham area dairy farmer was in court for the verdict after a two day trial in July.
The charges related to the discovery of two surveillance cameras in the ditch near Schmidt’s farm in July 2015.
The Ministry of Natural Resources admitted to setting up the cameras.
They were removed from the ditch but not immediately returned to the M-N-R.
In dismissing the charges, Justice K. McHugh said the Crown didn’t meet the necessary burden of proof that Schmidt’s intentions were criminal or fraudulent. Schmidt is satisfied with the result.
“I think it’s fair to say he did his research and I’m satisfied with what he came up with. He basically narrowed it really to the mens rea and criminal intent and I think he got it right,” said Schmidt in an interview after the verdict.
Evidence during the trail showed Schmidt phoned West Grey police soon after he found the cameras to report their discovery.
He wanted to know who to return them to.
Not getting an answer, the cameras remained in his control for several weeks.
Then he was charged with theft and mischief…”
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