Man Arrested In Connection With ‘Satanic-Style’ Sheep Killings
A man has been arrested in connection with a number of sheep killings which sparked fears of a Satanic-style cult.
The 41-year-old man, from Winchester, was held in custody on Friday, January 24, after being taken in by police on suspicion of six counts of criminal damage.
The arrest comes after a series of livestock killings took place in New Forest, Hampshire, over the last three months.
In November, local resident Judy Rudd was walking her two dogs when she came across a deceased, bloodied sheep which had been spray-painted with pentagrams.
Judy described the scene as ‘sinister’, and her husband Julian suggested the killings may have been related to ‘witchcraft’. Reverend David Bacon, from St Peter’s Church in the village, pointed out the pentagram drawn on the sheep was a well-known Satanic symbol.
The killings continued into the new year, with three more sheep having been found dead this month. On January 2, a sheep was found stabbed with a broken pitchfork, lying next to a cross made of hay and straw.
Farmer Wendy Maughan, whose animals have been targeted, speculated more than one person may be responsible for the killings, the Advertiser and Times reports.
There is quite some intent and planning involved – it is quite sinister in that respect.
The sheep had bedded down about half a mile from where it was found so they had to kill it and then get it to there.
Sheep are quite strong, and you have to know how to hold them, so I think it’s more than one person and they have stunning equipment.
A total of seven sheep have been found dead, though a police spokesperson said one of the sheep, found in December with a slit cut along the length of its body, is not thought to be connected to the other six attacks.
Many of the animals have been found dumped at roadsides with brutal stab wounds.
Animals in the New Forest national park are protected and regulated by forestry officials, the verderers, who have expressed their concern at the killings.
Speaking after the most recent attacks, a verderers spokesperson said:
It is such a horrible and nasty thing to do. It is serious animal welfare issue, and the death of these sheep is a significant loss to their owners
A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary revealed some details of the recent arrest, saying:
Officers investigating a number of sheep deaths in the New Forest… arrested a man. A 41-year-old man from Winchester has been arrested on suspicion of six counts of criminal damage.
They relate to the deaths of sheep in Wittensford Lane and Kewlake Lane, Cadnam, and Penn Road, Bramshaw.
He remains in custody at this time.
Hopefully the arrest will put an end to the grisly deaths.
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