I was lucky, says farm attack victim

The injuries Libby Clarke sustained in attack at her home
The injuries Libby Clarke sustained in attack at her home

The brave victim of an attempted farm theft has said she feels “quite lucky” that she did not sustain serious injuries when she was knocked unconscious during an unprovoked attack.

Craigavon estate agent Libby Clarke’s ordeal was reported in yesterday’s News Letter, and she posted a picture of her injuries on Facebook.

Libby Clarke of Joyce Clarke Estate Agents.

Libby Clarke of Joyce Clarke Estate Agents.

The 42-year-old mother-of-two has told the News Letter of how she was attacked around 7pm on Tuesday in the farmyard at the back of her home in the Springhill Road area of Lurgan.

“My eye and cheek are black but I am fine,” she said.

“I was very lucky I didn’t have the children with me. The reason I was down the yard is that one of the girl’s cows had calved and I was moving another cow, I turned into the yard and there were two people standing six foot in front of me. They took me by surprise.

“I asked them if they wanted something as I didn’t know if they were connected to some of the people who have rented out land, and they came towards me as if they were going to talk to me and I don’t remember much after that.”

Ms Clarke added: “At least my girls weren’t with me. The police were out with me in five or six minutes and they phoned an ambulance.

“We had a trailer stolen about a month ago. There is a lot of stuff happening and rural crime is out of hand at the moment.

“In the general area, within a two or three-mile radius, there have been tractors stolen, equipment stolen. Ride-on lawnmowers are very popular at the moment for thieves.

“The crime seems to have gone from taking heating oil and quads and trailers to tractors. If they got one of those tractors they are able to sell it on for £40,000 or £50,000.”

She said that if she had had any warning about the intruders “I would have phoned the police straight away”.

“Equipment is worth so much money nowadays, but if farmers can just think before they act,” she said.

“Police want the chance to catch these people. I was not expecting this at 7pm on a bright night in the sunny weather as you always think it will happen in the dark. But I am out today and I am not taking my sunnies off all day.

“I want farmers to stop from ending up like I have, although I actually feel quite lucky because the kids could have been there or I could have fallen and had more injuries than I have.

“I haven’t slowed down enough to let what happened hit me.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the PSNI on 101.