A farmer has been left stunned after police said they do not have enough evidence to prosecute five people alleged to have stolen and slaughtered his sheep in a city centre flat.
Police raided the basement flat in Gloucester after a neighbour raised the alarm when they saw men taking two live sheep from a car into the building.
Police found both sheep dead, one in the kitchen, and one in the bathroom.
One of the sheep was found to be Upton St Leonard farmer Mike Long’s, and five people were arrested as a result of the raid in April.
But Mr Long was stunned when the police recently called him to say they could not prosecute those involved as they did not have enough evidence.
“I thought it was an open and shut case,” he told the Gloucestershire Echo.
“I was horrified when they told me what had happened. All our sheep are treated like pets. I was very distressed, I didn’t sleep at all that night. It’s so evil.
“Back in April the police said they were putting a case against them but I am disappointed in what’s happened.
“It’s not the financial loss, it’s the principle that they should be punished for what they did.”
No further action
The five arrested were bailed pending further enquiries after the initial raid but will not face any further action.
The investigating officer, special sergeant Helen Pritchard, said there was no CCTV, verbal or forensic evidence to link them to the two farms concerned or linking them to the animals’ deaths.
"This was a lengthy and complex investigation that was thoroughly conducted, and I informed both farmers that I was very disappointed not to be able prosecute,” she said.
“But with insufficient evidence I had no choice but for this case to be closed with no further action."