Chickens massacred at St Albans allotments

PUBLISHED: 07:03 25 August 2011

Lynne Edlin inspecting where the chickens were killed.

Lynne Edlin inspecting where the chickens were killed.

THE SLAUGHTER of over 20 pet chickens on a St Albans allotment has left those affected reeling with shock.

Many of the chickens’ heads had been ripped off, some had been trampled on and a few were killed with a garden fork in the barbaric attack.

Two chicken coops on the Sandridge Road Allotment, just off Marshall Avenue, were targeted overnight between Friday August 19 and Saturday 20.

None of the carcasses were taken but were left on the site to be discovered by one of the allotment owners the next morning.

Tom Hardy, who lost nine chickens in the attack, said he was still trying to come to terms with the gruesome crime. He said: “It was such a systematic attack and it would have required some effort to kill the chickens in that way, let alone see and catch them in the dark. It’s very disturbing to think about the motivation of the person or persons who did this.”

Tom keeps the allotment with his colleagues and hatched six of the chickens in Easter. Three of the other birds were rescued from a battery pen.

“It’s very sad and we are devastated. We’ve had kids break in before but this is something else, it really is.

“We will be offering a reward of £200 to anyone who can provide information that leads to a prosecution.”

His chickens were kept in a fox-secure run and it is thought tools taken from other plot owners were used to gain access to the locked runs.

The other chicken owner who discovered the carnage when he went down to feed his pets with his young son, lost eight chickens and three turkeys.

At least another nine plots were damaged during the incident with doors and windows smashed to gain access to tools which were then used to cause further damage. All the taps on the tanks around the entire site were also taken, which left all allotment owners without a water supply throughout the weekend and Monday.

Support

The treasurer of Sandridge Road Allotment Association Lynne Edlin said that despite the attack, many of the plot owners were coming together to support those affected.

She said: “We still had a planned barbecue on Sunday and I urged anyone who was able to come along and show those affected their support and commiserations. Despite the nasty incident, we had a good turn out and a great atmosphere. We also had a collection for those affected and we’re determined not to let it throw us.”

PC Rhys Tom described the crime as “heartless and mindless” and appealed to anyone with information to contact the police on their non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

It is believed several offenders caused the damage.

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