A man from Sutton St. Nicholas, Hereford, who stole £87,640 worth of sheep has been sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday 4 August to eight months imprisonment. A proceeds of crime hearing is scheduled to take place on 24 November.
Daniel Smith, 25-years-old, pleaded guilty to four counts of theft at Hereford Magistrates’ Court on 7 July 2021.
The sheep were stolen from four locations in fields in the Marden, Sutton St Nicholas and Cross Keys areas of Herefordshire between 2 November 2020 and 26 January 2021.
One of the victims identified sheep being sold as those stolen from his farm and subsequently 92% of the stolen sheep were recovered over the following two days in March 2021.
Wildlife Crime Officer, PC Josh Kitchen of West Mercia Police, said: “We are pleased with the result of this investigation and hope that it reassures the farming community that livestock theft will not be tolerated and that police will fully investigate these incidents.
“Livestock thefts across the UK totalled £2.3million in 2020 and the act often causes suffering for the animals and additional financial pressures for farmers.
“I would like to thank the farmers involved for their assistance in this investigation as well as the cooperation of Hereford Livestock Market. Without their assistance it is unlikely these sheep would have ever been recovered.”
If you suspect any stolen sheep are being sold please contact Wildlife Crime Officer Josh Kitchen on 07773053436.