Rural crime: Police investigation launched after 14 lambs run over - in 'barbaric and cruel' attack

The farmer said this was the most horrific thing to ever happen on the farm, in the 50 years his family had owned it
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Warning: This story contains images and content which some readers might find distressing.

Police are investigating after 14 young lambs were mown down by a car in their field.

Farmer Nick Hutley awoke on Thursday morning (18 January) to the news that someone had run down his young sheep on Gate Street Farm in Bramley, Surrey, overnight, having travelled through at least three gates to get in. Each lamb was worth around £2,000, and Surrey Police are now investigating the incident - and are appealing for information from the public to help catch those responsible.

The 65-year-old told SWNS nothing like this had ever happened on the farm, in the more than half a century his family had owned it. "It's truly horrific," Mr Hutley said. "We are still reeling from it and can't quite get over it. It's just appalling."

Some of the sheep were alive, but injured (Photo: Nick Hutley / SWNS)Some of the sheep were alive, but injured (Photo: Nick Hutley / SWNS)
Some of the sheep were alive, but injured (Photo: Nick Hutley / SWNS)

The field had around 50 sheep in it, and the farmer said he was in a "state of shock" seeing them lying on their sides - some with devastating injuries. "My first reaction was that there must be some sort of dreadful disease, then reality sets in - there's not a disease that could have killed 14 healthy sheep like this. As I approached them I thought maybe they'd been shot or attacked by a dog - then I saw the tyre tracks and realised somebody had driven over them."

Car parts including part of a bumper were found in the field alongside the strewn bodies of the lambs, leading him to believe the vehicle in question was a Nissan 4x4. Mr Hutley continued: "I still find it difficult to comprehend that any monster would get any satisfaction from running over animals. It's a notion I cannot fathom at all."

Others had been killed (Photo: Nick Hutley / SWNS)Others had been killed (Photo: Nick Hutley / SWNS)
Others had been killed (Photo: Nick Hutley / SWNS)

Two of the poor sheep, born just last year, were still alive when they were found and had to be put down. Mr Hutley feared the "barbaric and cruel" attack could be linked to other recent rural crimes in the area, including when one of the farm's pigs was stolen last month - and another local farmer had his cows shot at. He added that he feared rural crime was not always taken as seriously as it should be.

Surrey Police are appealing for any information on the incident, including any dashcam footage and sightings of damaged vehicles, to come forward. Waverley Neighbourhood Sergeant Phil Bayman insisted the force was treating the matter with the utmost seriousness.

“This incident is extremely unusual, and we appreciate that it will have caused considerable distress to the owner of the farm and within the wider community," Sergeant Bayman said. "We would like to reassure [the public] that we are taking this seriously and doing everything we can to bring those responsible to justice.

“We are asking anyone with any information, including anyone who witnessed the incident, or with any other information, particularly anyone who may have seen a damaged vehicle in the area around the time of the offence, to come forward as soon as possible," he said.

"We are also looking for any dashcam or CCTV footage which may help our investigation."

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