Man shot dead pet sheep, skinned it and fed it to hunt hounds

A stock image of a sheep Credit: PA

A 23-year-old man has been convicted of theft after he stole a sheep and shot it dead.

Hartley Crouch, of Cottesmore Road, Ashwell, Oakham, was working for a hunt on March 13 last year when police say he decided to shoot dead another member of the hunt’s pet sheep.

He then skinned it and fed it to the hounds.

Crouch was fired from his role with the Pytchley Hunt and the incident reported to Northamptonshire Police.

He was charged with theft and was found guilty.

He was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £775 in costs, £150 in compensation and a surcharge of £22.

PC Chloe Gillies of the Rural Crime Team, said: “This incident caused a great deal of upset to the owners of the sheep who had hand-reared it and kept it as a pet in the back garden.

"Crouch did not have the owners’ permission to kill the sheep and to dispose of it in the manner that he did was horrible.

"I am pleased Crouch was found guilty of the offence and I hope this case shows that Northamptonshire Police take incidents like this seriously.”