A number of owners of missing horses have contacted West Mercia police following an H&H story about a Herefordshire man accused of serial horse theft (news, 5 June).
Sergeant Adrian Bean is investigating reports that Brian Evans of Vowchurch in Herefordshire, had taken four people’s horses on loan and then sold them on, pocketing the money.
Following the article, Sgt Bean told H&H that 16 people had come forward so far and he is delighted with the response. “We’re talking to everyone who has been in contact, collating information and, after that, we may put a plan into action,” he said.
Jackie Crew of Stourport-on-Severn and Jayne Brace from Worcestershire told H&H that Mr Evans had appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court in 2006 accused of stealing their horses,but was found not guilty.
Jackie Crew, 42, and her sister Sherrie had a mare and a gelding which they claimed were stolen by Mr Evans and sold at Holmfirth sales in Yorkshire. Sherrie got her gelding back when the buyer looked up the horse’s freezemark and saw it was listed as stolen.
The dealer who bought and sold Sherrie’s horse at Holmfirth told Jackie that Mr Evans left the market with her mare. Jackie Crew doorstepped Mr Evans twice to ask him to return the horse.
She told H&H: “I was devastated. I just wanted her back. I didn’t want revenge. He said his life wouldn’t be worth living if he told me where my mare was. I left my job so I could look for her.”
Jayne Brace found her horse in Hexham, Northumberland: “I bought her back for £2,000, which was what I’d originally paid for her. In the court case we were let down by the Crown Prosecution Service. The police were excellent and thought we had a good case.”
Mr Evans told H&H that the allegations are untrue and he is the subject of a harassment campaign.
If you have any information email: adrian bean@westmercia.pnn.police.uk.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (26 June, ’08)