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HomeFarming NewsMen in court over ‘high-value’ machinery thefts
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Men in court over ‘high-value’ machinery thefts

Two men have been convicted of the theft and dishonest handling of property from farms across the UK.

Jeffery Hughes (45), John Street, Bridgwater and Gareth Hayward (19), Coleridge Square, Bridgwater both pleaded guilty to the charges.

These related to several “high-value” thefts during the first half of 2020.

These included thefts of quad bikes and trailers, a 4×4 vehicle and a motorhome.


According to police, who carried out a “lengthy” investigation, this amounted to a combined value of around £45,000.

The pair appeared at Taunton Crown Court for sentencing on Thursday, February 10th, 2022.

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The judge handed Hughes a 16-month prison sentence and suspended it for two years.

He was also made subject to an overnight curfew and fitted with an electronic tag.

The judge gave Hayward a community order for 180 hours and a two-year driving ban.

The convictions follow a partnership operation set up to tackle rural crime across West Somerset.

Sedgemoor Neighbourhood Policing Team led the operation in partnership with Avon and Somerset’s Rural Affairs Unit and its burglary focus team.

Other court news:

Meanwhile, Glanbia’s proposed €140m cheese plant in Belview will now proceed, following a two-year delay.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal An Taisce took against planning permission granted for the cheese plant.

The planned continental cheese production facility is a joint venture between Glanbia Ireland and international dairy firm, Royal A-ware.

The Kilkenny Cheese joint venture was announced in January 2019 with the intention to enter production in 2022.

Kilkenny County Council granted planning for the new cheese facility at Belview in November 2019.

However, An Bord Pleanála refused an appeal and granted permission in June 2020.  On April 20th, 2021, the High Court upheld the planning approval An Bord Pleanála granted.

After an unsuccessful application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal in July 2021, An Taisce subsequently brought the matter to the Supreme Court, which heard the case in January 2022.

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