A judge has ordered a 26-year-old male, who stole over 600 sheep, to pay back the proceeds of his crime.
Daniel Smith, with an address at Sutton St. Nicholas, Hereford appeared before Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday, March 8th, 2022.
He stole sheep from four locations in fields in the Marden, Sutton St Nicholas and Cross Keys areas of Herefordshire between November 2nd, 2020 and January 26th, 2021.
One of the victims identified sheep being sold as those stolen from his farm. Subsequently, 92% of the stolen sheep were recovered over the following two days in March 2021.
Previously, he appeared before court and pleaded guilty to four counts of theft on July 7th, 2021. On August 4th, 2021, he was sentenced to serve eight months imprisonment.
On March 8th, 2022, at 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. The judge ordered him to pay this amount within three months.
Otherwise, the judge will sentence him to a further period of imprisonment in default of payment.
The court heard that Hereford Livestock Market assisted with the recovery process. The court heard that without their assistance, it is “unlikely” these sheep would have ever been recovered.
Wildlife Crime Officer, PC Josh Kitchen of West Mercia Police, said he is “pleased” with the result of this investigation.
He said he “hopes” that it reassures the farming community that livestock theft will not be tolerated and that police will “fully” investigate these incidents.
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,” Wright added.
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