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Couple jailed for decapitating a sheep and waving its head at children

The pair then dumped the animal's head in a neighbour's back garden

A couple who decapitated a rare breed of sheep, before they used its head to terrify some children, have been jailed.

Robert Carr, 28, and Miranda Clark, 39, both from Willington, County Durham, repeatedly stabbed the animal in the neck and stomach before chopping off its head, Durham Crown Court heard.

The attack happened in Dead Woods, Durham, in August last year, before they discarded the animal’s head in a neighbour’s back garden.

Police had received calls from concerned residents at the time saying a sheep's head had been found in the North Terrace area.

The pair had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of cruelty to a person under 16, one count of having a bladed article, one count of destroying property and one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Gerry Sydenham, head of the Crown Court Unit for CPS North East, said: "There is no doubt that the savage actions of this pair will be beyond the comprehension of anyone hearing of this crime.

“Their initial attack on a defenceless animal seems to have served no purpose beyond providing some sort of twisted entertainment for the pair.

"Not content with killing and mutilating the rare sheep, they then went on to traumatise a group of local children with the animal's severed head, before discarding it as an afterthought in a neighbour's yard."

Carr was given a 20-month sentence and Clark one of eight months.

Additional reporting by PA