Sheep slaying: Man cleared

The case against a 20-year-old accused of killing a pregnant sheep in Wells was dismissed yesterday. Sean Yaxley, from Braintree in Essex, was one of six people charged with causing suffering to the black Hebridean sheep, including inflicting the injuries which led to its death in the early hours of March 23.

The case against a 20-year-old accused of killing a pregnant sheep in Wells was dismissed yesterday.

Sean Yaxley, from Braintree in Essex, was one of six people charged with causing suffering to the black Hebridean sheep, including inflicting the injuries which led to its death in the early hours of March 23.

Yaxley denied all charges and the case against him was dismissed at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court by district judge Philip Browning following negotiations between RSPCA prosecutor Jonathan Eales and defence solicitors.

A youth court hearing for the remaining five defendants - a 16-year-old and three 17-year-olds from the Wells area and a 17-year-old from Wisbech - was adjourned until August 12 to allow for the completion of a forensic report.

All five teenagers deny injuring the animal but three have now admitted causing unnecessary suffering by chasing it around the field after two youths changed their plea yesterday.

A third charge of aiding and abetting in the events which led to the sheep's death was admitted by two of the Wells teenagers at an earlier hearing.

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All five defendants were bailed.