News

Tweed farmer Barry Grant's jail cut to 10 years for kill

Barry Grant
Barry Grant

A FRUIT farmer turned drug kingpin who shot dead a crazed thief at his Tweed Valley property has secured an early release from jail.

Barry Grant, 56, is serving a 12-year sentence for the manslaughter of Jethro Matheson, whose decomposing body was found in Border Ranges National Park at Kyogle in February 2009.

An investigation had been running for several months after neighbours reported gunshots at Grant's Condong property - home to a recently uncovered $3million marijuana crop.

The NSW Supreme Court previously heard Grant turned to the drug business after hitting hard times as a banana and strawberry farmer.

He told the court he had bought a rifle for protection after his first "successful" batch of cannabis plants attracted two armed men to his property in August 2008.

The following January, Grant was drinking a beer when Mr Matheson burst into his home, in disguise and armed with a crowbar.

Thinking he was about to be killed, Grant reached for his gun.

"I spun and said 'stop' but he kept rushing towards me and growling as if he was crazy, holding the crowbar with both hands above his head about to smash it down on my head," Grant said

"To save my life I fired the pistol but he kept coming at me… I was terrified and I fired it again."

The court heard Mr Matheson was injured and ran from the house but Grant soon discovered his body next to his back shed.

"I could tell he was dead…I panicked and put his body in my truck (which was later torched) and drove around for hours before leaving it in a forest area," Grant said

Two weeks after the discovery of Mr Matheson's body sparked a massive manhunt, Grant handed himself in at the Byron Police Station.

Last week, Grant's solicitor appealed the severity of the sentence on the grounds there had been a "miscarriage of justice".

The Criminal Court of Appeal found Grant's former legal team had failed him by accepting he had intended to kill, not just harm, the victim.

The panel ruled that while Grant was "not a person of good character" he was unlikely to reoffend.

The 12-year head sentence was reduced to 10.

Topics:  condong, manslaughter



Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Charity work replacing drunken Schoolies antics

WORLD VIEW: Mount St Patrick College students Grace Smith and Billi Lansky are off to Nepal with teacher Jim Smith instead of going to Schoolies.

Year 12 students choose charity work over Schoolies

Sleeping rough smooths lives of battlers

COOL CHANGE: Getting ready for the St Vincent de Paul Society Winter sleep out at "Fred's Place" at Tweed Heads ; Kylie Chalmers, Michelle Dennis, Ruth Gold, Brook McCormack, Jason McDonald and General Manager of Seagulls Club Mr Stuart Burrows.

Fred's Place sleep out fundraiser

VIDEO: Seal dazzles locals at Cabarita Beach

Still shot of a video of a seal at Cabarita

Sea World Rescue has assessed a seal at Cabarita beach overnight

Latest deals and offers

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?