Charged with animal offences

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A 19-year-old man has appeared in court charged with a number of offences following the theft of livestock.

The teen appeared before Newry Magistrates’ Court on Friday, January 16.

The man has been charged with five offences of theft, transferring criminal property, possessing criminal property, concealing criminal property, causing unnecessary suffering to animals and other offences.

The charges relate to a number of incidents including: the theft of goats from Scarva Road, Gilford on 5 December, 2014, the theft of a ram from Poyntzpass Road, Loughbrickland on 5 December, 2014, the theft of sheep from Greenan Road, Poyntzpass on 10 December, 2014, the theft of sheep from Drumhorc Road and Tullylish Road, Gilford on 8 January, 2015 and the theft of lambs from Loughbrickland on 13 January, 2015.

As is normal procedure the charges will be reviewed by the PPS.

Meanwhile local MP David Simpson has said that local people need to stand together to stamp out the ‘scourge’ of rural crime. Mr Simpson said: “The rural areas of Banbridge District have for too long been on the wrong end of rural crime.

“Farmers are losing valuable assets at a worrying rate and it is vital that home owners are fully vigilant and that the PSNI do all in their power to crack down on this scourge.

“This particular arrest comes ahead of a debate that I will be hosting in Westminster on rural crime and this will be an opportunity for MP’s right across the United Kingdom to share the experiences of their constituents.

“In the coming weeks I will also be hosting a special ‘rural crime night’ in the constituency that I want everyone to be involved with,” he added.

“It is of paramount importance that we all stand together on this issue in order to stamp out this scourge once and for all.”