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Colchester man jailed after his dogs attacked 12 sheep in Brantham, 11 of which had to be put down

A Colchester man has been jailed for being in charge of dogs that attacked 11 sheep so severely that they had to be put down.

Warwick Foreman, 52, of Compton Road, appeared before Ipswich Magistrates Court today where he was sentenced to 21 weeks in prison for being in charge of a dog and worrying livestock and four counts of criminal damage.

This follows four incidents in the villages of Brantham and Lawford last year. Between August and December 2020, a total of 12 sheep were found by a sheep owner, all attacked with serious injuries, 11 of which had to be put down as a result.

Warwick Foreman, convicted of sheep-worrying. Picture: Suffolk Police.
Warwick Foreman, convicted of sheep-worrying. Picture: Suffolk Police.

During the investigation police secured DNA saliva swabs from both of Mr Foreman's dogs and found a match to the ear of one of the sheep fatally injured.

At a hearing in March this year, Mr Foreman pleaded guilty to all four counts.

The 21 week sentence includes a conviction for taking a motor vehicle without the owner's consent on February 1, 2020, when Mr Foreman drove a Ford 4100 Tractor and caused damage to a trailer and a barn at Bentley.

PC Andre de Jongh from the Rural and Wildlife Policing Team said: "Dog ownership comes with great responsibility and if owners do not have tangible control over their dogs, there are significant consequences.

"People need to remember, it's not just about keeping a dog on a lead - it is also about recognising that a dog's actions reflect on the owner and a lack of control is neglect, and the consequences of neglect is a ban on keeping dogs/animals in future, as well as being held on a police record."

NFU Suffolk County Adviser Charles Hesketh said: "Incidents such as these cause huge suffering to animals and distress to farmers as they deal with the aftermath. An estimated 15,000 sheep are killed by dogs each year - deaths that are entirely preventable if we all keep our dogs under control.

"The NFU would like to thank Suffolk police for their work on this case, including using DNA to help secure these convictions. We hope it sends out a strong message about the potential consequences for owners if their dog attacks or worries livestock."

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