A man who stole £87,640 worth of sheep in a series of raids on Herefordshire farms has been sentenced to eight months in prison.
Daniel Smith, of Upper Court in Sutton St Nicholas, Hereford, pleaded guilty to four counts of theft at Hereford Magistrates’ Court on 7 July and was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on 4 August.
The 25-year-old stole the sheep from four locations in the Marden, Sutton St Nicholas and Cross Keys areas of Herefordshire between 2 November 2020 and 26 January 2021.
Mr Smith stole 308 sheep worth £43,120 from L Thomas & Sons in Sutton St Nicholas, 74 sheep worth £9,250 from farmer Richard Morgan in Marden, 167 sheep worth £22,910 from AJ & JM Abberley, and 103 sheep worth £12,360 from farmer Martin Skyrme.
In March this year, one of the farmers saw some of his stolen sheep being sold and, thanks to the quick work of the police and Hereford livestock market, the vast majority were recovered over the following two days.
PC Josh Kitchen, wildlife crime officer at 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.
“I would like to thank the farmers involved for their assistance in this investigation, as well as the co-operation of Hereford Livestock Market. Without their assistance, it is unlikely these sheep would have ever been recovered.”