A livestock delivery driver who stole six piglets, feed and fencing has narrowly been spared from time behind bars.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on April 18 how Richard John Reddish, 29, formerly of Wood Lane, Pleasley Vale, passed the stolen livestock to a 4x4 driver after he had taken a diversion while delivering piglets from Packington Pork, in Lichfield, to Kirton, in Nottinghamshire.
Prosecuting solicitor Lynn Bickley said: “Packington Pork did a stock check and noticed pigs were missing so they got a private detective agency to follow a livestock lorry containing four-week-old piglets.”
Mrs Bickley added that the detective agency followed a lorry from Packington farm, at Lichfield, to a weighbridge at a rearing farm in Kirton, Nottinghamshire.
However, the lorry diverted to Outgang Lane and into a cul-de-sac at Church Drive, according to Mrs Bickley, and it pulled up to a 4x4 vehicle and several pigs were loaded into the arms of the 4x4 driver before the lorry drove to Kirton.
Mrs Bickley said the 4x4 vehicle was followed to a farm at Wood Lane, Pleasley Vale, and police found the stolen pigs at the farm with stolen pig hurdles and stolen pig feed which had also belonged to Packington Pork.
Reddish admitted to police that he had bought the pigs from an illegal source because he was trying to set up a cycle of buying pigs every week and getting cash in hand for them.
He also admitted buying the pig feed from another illegal source and admitted having the pig hurdles which belonged to Packington Pork.
The court heard that Reddish had worked for Bowring Transport and he had transported pigs for Packington Pork on numerous occasions.
Rediish pleaded guilty to stealing six pigs valued at £264 from May 26 and also pleaded guilty to two further thefts after stealing pig hurdles at Clumber Estate Farm and stealing pig feed between September, 2016, and June, 2017 belonging to Packington Pork.
Defence solicitor Jill Brookes said Reddish, who is of previous good character, knew that he was not buying items from a legitimate source and six piglets were attributed to the defendant after DNA tests were carried out.
Ms Brookes added that Reddish is no longer in work and because there are rumours that he stole 800 pigs he is finding it hard to get work in farming.
Magistrates sentenced Reddish to 18 weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with 200 hours of unpaid work.
Reddish must also pay £1,892.30 in compensation, £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.