A retired shepherd has been banned from being alone with dogs after he failed to stop his own pets worrying other farmers’ sheep.
Barrie Liddle, 77, was under strict orders not to allow his seven champion sheepdogs to stray onto farmland following previous incidents where his dogs had hounded and even injured prime breeding ewes.
Abdul Shakoor, prosecuting, told York Crown Court that two of Liddle’s sheepdogs held 30 of his neighbour Paul Eubank’s Swaledale ewes against a wall and, when one sheep made a break for it, the dogs ran after it grabbing at its legs.
It was the ninth time Liddle had breached a criminal behaviour order (CBO) which forbid him to take his dogs onto private land without the owner’s consent, reports the Harrogate Advertiser.
Liddle, of Old Church Lane, Pateley Bridge, appeared for sentence on Friday, October 13 after admitting nine counts of breaching the CBO.
He was given a 12-month community order with mental health treatment and rehabilitative activities. The CBO was extended to add the ban on being alone with dogs.
Mr Shakoor said trouble flared when Liddle moved into a bungalow in Upperdale View, near Mr Eubank’s farm, in late 2014, during the busy lambing season.
The barrister said Mr Eubank repeatedly found Liddle’s dogs straying on the roads and a private track next to his home and took two of them to a local kennels.
Liddle was arrested in September last year but claimed the CBO was “not a legal document and an infringement on his liberty”.
He was bailed, but just a week later Mr Eubank saw two of Liddle’s Collies chasing his sheep. Liddle was arrested again three days later.
Mr Eubank said his pedigree ewes had been put under enormous strain by Liddle’s dogs and was a “constant worry” for him and his family.
He said Liddle would often shout and swear at him. When he asked him to get off his land, Liddle claimed he had a “right to roam”.
The prosecution called for a complete ban on Liddle keeping dogs to protect livestock but defence barrister Holly Betke said: “He (Liddle) has been a sheep farmer his entire life and he was training sheepdogs throughout that time. He is concerned that if he has no dogs, that would push him over the edge.”
Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said Liddle appeared “unrepentant” for subjecting his neighbour to a “torrent of abuse” during repeated breaches of the order when his dogs were “out of control”.
Mr Stubbs said the collies should be “placed in appropriate care”.
We have 1,000s of livestock worrying signs which you can nail to gateposts or fenceposts near footpaths to highlight the problem to walkers.
If you would like some of these signs, please send a stamped, self-addressed A4 envelope to:
FG Take the Lead, Farmers Guardian,
Unit 4, Fulwood Business Park,
You will need at least three First Class or Second Class stamps on to cover postage costs. We will be able send up to 25 signs.