Barrie Iveson Liddle, a retired farmer from Upperdale View, appeared for sentencing at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 24 June 2015.
He was found guilty of seven counts of allowing his dog to worry sheep and one of threatening to shoot five of his neighbour’s best tup lambs, at an earlier hearing.
He also pleaded guilty to three further charges of sheep worrying. Three other sheep worrying charges were dismissed.
Liddle was fined £100 for each offence and ordered to pay £620 costs.
He was also given a Criminal Behaviour Order with six conditions, which he must adhere to until a further order of the court.
Liddle’s offences were committed between 22 March 2014 and 30 November 2014. Two of the sheep worrying offences were committed at West End, near Thruscross Reservoir, where Liddle keeps a flock his own sheep.
The remaining incidents all happened near Liddle’s home outside Pateley Bridge where he has kept as many as seven Border Collie sheepdogs. During 2014 six different farmers reported to the police that their sheep had been chased by Liddle’s dogs.
PC Bill Hickson, of Pateley Bridge police, said:
It is apparent from what Mr Liddle has told the police and the courts that he was once a skilled handler of sheepdogs and is the owner of champion sheepdogs, one of which he bought at Skipton last year.
Unfortunately the evidence presented to the court shows that he seems to have lost those skills and is now unable to properly control his dogs. As a result his dogs have strayed onto land where they chased sheep belonging to neighbouring farmers.
With no one present to control the dogs, ewes and their lambs were caused a lot of distress and in some cases were injured. This anti-social behaviour by Mr Liddle has caused his neighbours persistent anxiety, never knowing when or where Liddle’s dogs might stray next or what damage they may cause to valuable stock which is, of course, the farmers’ livelihood.
Farmers also have to spend time dealing with the aftermath of each episode; checking sheep and re-uniting lambs with their mothers.
In spite of numerous police interventions over the past 15 months Mr Liddle seems to be unwilling or unable to do anything to prevent his dogs straying. The Criminal Behaviour Order is a necessary step towards making him keep his dogs under control.
I would also like to say that the police do not accuse Liddle of ill-treating his dogs and it is obvious that they mean a great deal to him.
If you have any concerns about sheep worrying in your area, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 1 – and pass information to the Force Control Room.
If you prefer not to give your name, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Barrie Liddle’s Criminal Behaviour Order are outlined below
Liddle must not:
- Enter privately owned land, without permission of the landowner, with a dog, or allow a dog under his ownership or control to enter such land, within the area defined by map.
- Allow any dog under his ownership or control to stray onto any land, private or public, including land forming part of a highway, within the area defined by map.
- Act, or incite others to act, in an anti-social manner, that is to say, a manner that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons within the area defined by map.
- Keep all gates in the boundary to his premises at Upperdale View, Old Church Lane, Pateley Bridge closed at all times apart from when the entrances are in use for entering or leaving the premises.
- If he uses a public right of way across private land or if he enters land over which there is a “right to roam” under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, within the area defined by the map, he must hold any dog with him on a lead.”
- Have all dogs in his possession marked with microchip identification implants and with a tag showing his name and address. This clause to include any further dogs acquired by the defendant after this order is imposed.
The magistrates ordered that the conditions should apply within in an area on a map provided by the police. The map covers all of Nidderdale up-stream from Killinghall. The order will remain in force until a further order of the court.