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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Sheep stealing conviction is 'victory for Cumbrian farmers'

The conviction of a man for stealing sheep has been hailed as a victory for Cumbrian farmers.

Robert Birnie photo
Robert Birnie

Related: 'Sheep tags revealed theft', Cumbrian court told

A jury unanimously found Robert Birnie guilty of sheep theft and intimidation, following a trial at Carlisle Crown Court. He will be sentenced next month.

During the trial the court heard how Birnie, 47, of Sunny Rigg Farm, Moat, near Longtown, had stolen sheep belonging to Danny Waring.

The sheep, which were stolen from Brampton between April 1 and May 18 last year, were said to be worth £6,273.

Birnie had tried to sell the sheep at six auctions across north Cumbria last year. But ear tags attached to the livestock had linked them back to Mr Waring.

A total of 274 ear tags were scanned and 48 per cent were traced back to Mr Waring, PC Graham Thompson told the court.

He said that at a seventh auction Birnie had tried to sell more than 60 sheep, but Mr Waring, who was also at the Longtown sale, recognised his animals and more than 30 were eventually traced back to him.

Following the guilty verdict, Mr Waring, of Penton, said justice has been done.

He told the News & Star: “I don't feel euphoric – it is just justice for me and the greater community.”

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