Callous thieves steal 143 sheep and leave poor Jack, 15, with just one black ewe.

Police believe a wagon parked alongside the Wrexham bypass was used to load two batches of sheep in a night-time raid

Night-time thieves who stole 142 sheep need “horse-whipping”, according to a farmer whose teenage grandson lost almost his entire flock.  Police suspect the sheep – a mix of fat hoggets and in-lamb ewes – were loaded on to a wagon alongside the Wrexham-Chester bypass.

The raid was one of the region’s biggest rustling incidents of recent years.

Most of the stolen sheep belonged to Denbighshire farmer Roger Lightfoot and son John, but 22 in-lamb ewes – mostly Jacobs – were owned by 15-year-old Jack Sinnott, Buckley. He was left with just a single Jacob cross ewe and was so distraught he needed coaxing to go back to school. “Jack’s ewes were ready to late in late February and early March, and he had got everything ready for them,” said grandad Brian Edge, of Meadowhall farm, Pulford.

“He’d bought hay for them and he had a box in his bedroom full of everything he might need, from penicillin to teat feeder buckets and bottles. He was so excited.

“Jack often comes to the farm after school, and spends half-terms here, to look after his sheep. Whoever did this to him needs horse-whipping.”

The sheep were taken last Monday night from fields straddling the England-Wales border, separated by Pulford brook. They were herded across fields and through a gate to a wagon waiting on a concrete track adjacent to the northbound A483.

John Lightfoot, who keeps around 400 ewes on land in Pulford and Rossett, was alerted by Mr Edge at 11am on Tuesday.  “To be honest, I didn’t really believe it at first,” he said.  Mr Lightfoot continued: “I spent the whole afternoon looking for them. I must have covered hundreds of acres.

"I found the wellie marks where the thieves had walked the sheep across a bridge and through an arable field, and saw where the gate had been left off its hinges.

“It was a shock and quite unbelievable to realise what had happened. They must have had good dogs to gather and load them on the dark.”

Mr Lightfoot, who runs around 2,000 breeding ewes from Cae Ap Edward, Llanarmon-yn-Ial, lost 40 in-lamb Welsh Mule ewes and 80 hoggets, a mix of Welsh and Texel crosses.

With 70 lambs due on February 20, he estimates a total loss of around £10,000.

Link to a video interview with Mr.Lightfoot.

TecTracer Debut at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh. June 2018
A revolutionary crime prevention system, initially developed to protect church roofs from lead thieves, has made its Royal Highland Show debut this weekend. (Saturday June 24)

TecTracer technology – created by York-based Trace-in-Metal – has subsequently been adapted to help in the fight against rural crime, with farmers across the North of England and Southern Scotland using it to not only mark their sheep, but also farm machinery and vehicles from criminals targeting remote areas.

Whilst Trace-in-Metal uses ballistics to fire thousands of microdots into metal sheets “marking” them with a unique identifying code, TecTracer uses raddles to ingrain thousands of coded markers into the sheep’s fleece.

Once attached to the animal’s coat, it is extremely easy to identify any sheep that has been TecTracer-marked, and which farm it originated from.

Picture Caption: Rural Crime Fightback! Pictured from left are: DI Jane Donaldson, National Rural Crime Co-ordinator, Police Scotland; John Minary, MD TecTracer; Prof Bo Janzon, Technical Director TecTracer; PC Euan Chancellor, Police Scotland; and John Barr, Police Liaison Manager, TecTracer 
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‘Despicable Act’ in metal theft from Grade II listed War Memorial.

Police are appealing for witnesses and information after six engraved brass plaques were stolen from the Hardwick War Memorial in Clumber Park.

It’s believed the plaques, which contained the names of those who lost their lives during the war, were stolen between Wednesday 2 May 2018 and Friday 4 May 2018.

A Nottinghamshire Police spokesperson said: "This is a despicable offence and we'd appeal to anyone with any information to call us on 101.

"We'd also appeal directly to the offenders and ask them to search their conscience and return the plaques.

"Local residents will have relatives who were killed in action and will be deeply saddened by this selfish and mindless act."

The Grade II listed War Memorial in Hardwick Village pays tribute to Clumber Park’s fallen war heroes, 18 local men who either worked or lived on the estate and who lost their lives in times of conflict during the First and Second World Wars.

Beth Dawson, General Manager at Clumber Park, said, "The latest incident of theft at Clumber Park is particularly despicable given the nature of the target. These plaques commemorate the men who gave their lives for our country and they’ve been taken without a thought for what and who they represent.

"The plaques are estimated to be around 100-years-old and were funded by the 7th Duke of Newcastle. The theft has upset everyone at the Clumber Park very much, and we urge anyone with information to come forward. We are simply devastated that Clumber Park has again become a target after incidents earlier in the year."

Anyone with any information about the theft of the plaques is asked to contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 671 of 4 May 2018 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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