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Man who stole sheep from Ladybower is spared spell behind bars

A man who filmed himself stealing a sheep from the banks of Ladybower Reservoir before driving to Sheffield and releasing it has been sentenced.

*Warning- Video contains bad language which has been censored- Sent to us by Derbyshire Constabulary

 

Ali El-Aridi posted a chronicle of the theft on Snapchat, including photos and a video of him chasing the sheep along the banks of the reservoir.

When he eventually caught it, the 23-year-old directed an expletive-filled rant at the animal, that he also recorded on his phone.

El-Aridi, of Stubbin Lane, Sheffield, then drove it to his home city and released it into a suburban area, again filming it all as he went.

The theft, in August last year, came to the attention of the police's Rural Crime Team after members of the public witnessed it taking place and posted it on Facebook. Together with members of the rural community in Derbyshire, officers started an investigation.

Within a day, the sheep had been reunited with its owner, having been rescued from the Wincobank area of Sheffield, and El-Aridi was identified.

Police examined his phone and found the evidence he had filmed, as well as two extreme pornographic images.

He was charged with theft of the sheep – which he admitted – and possession of extreme pornography, which he denied but was found guilty of at Chesterfield Justice Centre.

PC Andy Shaw, from Derbyshire Constabulary's Rural Crime Team, said: “El-Aridi initially denied stealing the sheep but, after we had a look at his phone and found the videos, unsurprisingly the next time we interviewed him his story was somewhat different.

“The sheer disregard for the animal’s welfare is plainly evident in El-Aridi’s video, and in fact he seemed to care significantly more about the mess it had made to his boot lining.

“This case was a great example of the police and the community coming together not only to recover the animal but also to secure a conviction.

“It also shows that social media has real value in modern policing, and I hope it foes on to demonstrate to our rural communities that we are alert to crime and will take action to tackle it and put offenders before the courts.”

El-Aridi was sentenced to a 12-month community order and must complete 100 hours of unpaid work, as well as paying £620 in costs.

PC Shaw said the theft of the sheep was just one of many similar reports of theft police receive all year round – a crime that can devastate members of the rural community.

He said: “Livestock theft is an ongoing problem nationally and one that we take seriously.  Single animals disappear in cases such as this but we also receive reports of animals being taken on a much larger scale.

"If you have any information relating to livestock thefts please let us know, as this case hopefully proves we will investigate it fully and if we can bring those responsible to justice.”

To report crime to the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team, call 101 or search for them on Facebook.

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