Suspended jail term for selling stolen sheep

A man who sold ten stolen sheep after passing them off as his own has received a suspended jail term.

Samuel Leslie, of Longland Road, Claudy, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and receiving stolen goods on May 26, last year.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard the 52-year-old sold 10 white faced Texel Hogget sheep at Omagh Market a short time after they had been reported stolen.

Police spoke to Leslie, however he maintained the sheep he sold were his.

DNA samples taken from the animals confirmed they were the stolen sheep and officers discovered their number tags had been removed and replaced with new ones.

The 52-year-old was further interviewed by police and admitted he knew the sheep were not his to sell.

A defence solicitor said it was a “sad and shameless day” for his client to come before the court.

He added that the guilty plea will have “consequences for him and his family in the wider farming community”.

The solicitor said Leslie wished to apologise for his actions.

Suspending the six month jail term for three years, Deputy District Judge Nigel Broderick ordered Leslie to pay total compensation of £1614.