Teenager charged with stealing livestock and having bullets

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A Co Armagh teenager accused of stealing livestock and having bullets was charged and released on bail on Friday.

Appearing in the dock of Newry Magistrate’s Court, 19-year-old Christopher Potts spoke only to confirm that he understood the 16 charges against him.

Potts, from Pineview Court in Gilford, is accused of five charges of theft alleging that he stole a ram, two goats, a total of 39 ewes and 27 lambs on various dates in December last year and January this year.

Potts is facing a further seven offences relating to him allegedly concealing, possessing and transferring criminal property, one of causing unnecessary suffering to animals, one of handling stolen goods and two relating to the possession of 200 .22 bullets and attempting to possess ammunition without a certificate.

A police officer told the court he believed he could connect Potts to the various offences.

The charges relate to a number of incidents including: the theft of goats from Scarva Road, Gilford on December 5, 2014; the theft of a ram from Poyntzpass Road, Loughbrickland on December 5, 2014; the theft of sheep from Greenan Road, Poyntzpass on December 10, 2014; the theft of sheep from Drumhorc Road and Tullylish Road, Gilford on January 8; and the theft of lambs from Loughbrickland on January 13.

Potts was released on his own bail of £500 with his mother to sign as a £500 surety, and ordered to appear before Banbridge Magistrate’s Court, sitting in Newry, on 12 February.

District Judge King also imposed a curfew from 9pm to 6am and barred Potts from attending any sale yard in Northern Ireland during the police investigation.