Leicester

Animal rights activist sentenced for Pickwell pig theft

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Media captionWesley Omar (pictured centre) was told the conviction would affect future employment

An animal rights activist who stole a pig from a farm has been sentenced.

Wesley Omar, 23, filmed himself taking the pig from Belmont Farm, in Pickwell, near Melton Mowbray, last July and posted the footage on YouTube.

Omar, of King Edwards Way, in Edith Weston, Rutland, admitted theft and said he did it to raise awareness of the conditions animals are kept in.

At Leicester Crown Court, he was handed a 12-month community order and 100 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Nicholas Dean QC described Omar as an "intelligent young man".

"You are not entitled to commit criminal acts in the form of protest," the judge told Omar.

Image copyright Wesley Omar
Image caption Wesley Omar filmed himself stealing a pig from a farm and posted it on YouTube

On YouTube, alongside the video, Omar wrote he found the pigs "cramped in hot conditions" and "covered in their own faeces".

"This place broke my heart, seeing thousands of innocent pigs corridor after corridor that were squeezed up against each other with a horrible stench coming from the disgusting conditions they were kept in," he said.

The pig he stole, which was facing slaughter, was valued at about £50.

It could not be returned because of contamination fears and it has since been named Wilbur and living on an animal sanctuary.

Judge Dean QC said the conviction would serve as a punishment because it would affect future employment.

The court heard the farmer has since invested up to £6,000 on new security measures, including CCTV and fences.

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