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Man Ordered To Repay £11,000 For Stealing Over 600 Sheep


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A man who stole over 600 sheep has been ordered to pay back the proceeds of his crime.

Daniel Smith, aged 26, of Sutton St. Nicholas, Hereford pleaded guilty to four counts of theft at Hereford Magistrates’ Court on 7July 2021 and on 4th August 2021 he was sentenced to serve eight months imprisonment.

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.

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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.

On 8th March 2022 at Worcester Crown Court, a Confiscation Order, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, was made, whereby Smith’s benefit figure from the crime was agreed to be £11,000. The amount Smith was found to have available was also £11,000, which he has been ordered to pay within three months, otherwise he will be sentenced to a further period of imprisonment in default of payment.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright, of the Economic Crime Unit, West Mercia Police, said, “Smith has been stripped of the trappings of his crime by powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act, as a result of a financial investigation by West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit. A Confiscation Order imposed, means he must pay back the full amount of £11,000, or face time in prison.”

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.”

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