Convicted livestock rustler back in court on sheep theft charges

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A convicted livestock rustler was back in court on Wednesday accused of stealing 35 ewes.

Newry Crown Court heard that 21-year-old Christopher Potts was recently handed a suspended jail term for the theft of livestock and is on bail for other alleged similar thefts.

Standing in the dock of the court Potts, from Pineview Court in Gilford, confirmed that he understood the two charges against him alleging that he stole 35 ewes and handled stolen goods, namely an electric fence on 5 October this year. A police constable said he believed he could connect Potts to the offence and revealed the rustler is currently on remand from a case in Armagh Magistrates Court involving the theft of seven calves on the 15th October and he also has a relevant record in that he recently received a suspended sentence of 18 months so police feel he is “highly likely to reoffend.”

The officer revealed the 35 ewes were estimated to be worth around £2,500.

Refusing bail amid fears that Potts would commit further crimes, District Judge Eamon King said it’s “quite clear that the court suspects he’s engaged or appears to be involved in that sort of activity” adding that previous disposals and process through the judicial system “doesn’t appear to deter the defendant from continuing to engage in this activity. and therefore on those matters bail is refused.”

Potts will appear again via video link on 22nd December.