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Man fined for taking water for ‘altruistic purposes’

A man has been fined after pleading guilty to interfering with Goulburn-Murray Water structures and illegally taking water. Photo by Megan Fisher

A man who illegally siphoned water to provide water for horses agisted on his Mooroopna property has been fined and ordered to pay compensation to Goulburn-Murray Water.

Jaysen Nuciforo, 41, pleaded guilty at Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on June 17 to interfering with G-MW structures and illegally taking water.

The court heard two officers conducting routine duties discovered two pipes siphoning water into a cut-in directing water towards a dam on a property Nuciforo leased.

It appeared the water had been siphoning for some time, but it was unclear how much had been taken.

Nuciforo’s solicitor told the court her client had been housing five horses free of charge for a friend and didn’t run any business from the property.

She said the dam had gone dry and Nuciforo did what he felt was his only option, to siphon water into the dam for the horses.

The court heard he had advised the landlord the pump was broken but nothing had been fixed.

His solicitor said he worked as a farmhand and had no prior history.

Magistrate Victoria Campbell accepted he had diverted water for “altruistic purposes” but said general deterrence “loomed large” in the region.

“The community needs to realise this is an offence and be dissuaded from behaving in this manner,” she said.

She fined Nuciforo $1000 without conviction and ordered him to pay compensation of $1820 to G-MW.