A FARMING couple have spoken of their devastation after 76 of their lambs were stolen by sheep rustlers.
Barry and Lynda Knight, from Wingate, are £8,000 out of pocket after the lambs were stolen from their land at Harehill Farm, in Haswell.
The lambs were due for market the next day.
Barry, 64, who has rented the 150 acres of land for 25 years and has also owned farmland at Hurworth Burn, near Trimdon, for 46 years, had never been a victim of sheep rustling before.
He said: “It’s just sickening.”
Lynda, 65, added: “Whoever has done this are just down-and-outs.”
She said she and Barry had arrived at the site around 7am on Thursday, October 23 to find the lambs were missing from their pen.
As it is bordered by a public footpath, they thought a walker may have accidentally left a gate open, but after a search, they realised the lambs had been stolen.
Lynda, who is mum to Trevor and Stuart Knight, added: “I was gobsmacked. It’s hard enough to farm, you just don’t think people would do this.”
The lambs have green eartags bearing the number 105191.
Anyone with information about the theft of the lambs is urged to contact Peterlee Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.