Bartica miner fined, jailed over car battery theft

A Bartica miner was yesterday fined $80,000 and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to stealing a car battery.

The defendant, Deon Obermuller, 40, of Lot 39 5th Avenue, Bartica, was read a charge which stated that on November 29, at Croal Street, he stole one Power Master Battery valued $60,000, property of Allister Parris.

Obermuller was shot in the knee by the complainant as he exited the man’s premises.

Deon Obermuller
Deon Obermuller

Although the defendant pleaded guilty, he claimed that on the day of the incident, a man had approached him and asked that he assist in lifting a battery. The defendant said that when Parris came, the other man fled the scene and he dropped the battery he’d been holding, after which he was shot by the complainant.

According to the prosecution’s report however, Parris had been alerted by security guards that someone was on his premises and had proceeded to make checks when he saw Obermuller exiting the yard with the battery attached to a generator. It was further stated that the complainant, who is a firearm holder, confronted the accused, who was with another man. Obermuller then reportedly drew a knife, leading Parris to fire a shot, hitting the defendant in the knee. The police were subsequently called to the scene and the battery was recovered.

The prosecution related that this is not Obermuller’s first brush with the law as he is known to the police in connection with a similar offence.

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