CHICKENS have been beheaded by thugs in a gruesome attack at allotments in Somercotes.
Shocked allotment holders at Birchwood Lane made the grisly discovery when they went to feed their poultry at 8.30am on Saturday.
Twenty-one birds were stolen, several had been beheaded by the raiders using a knife and a hammer. Others were left to bleed to death at the scene.
The theft took place some time after 6pm on Friday, May 13, said police.
Anita James, treasurer of the allotments committee, said: “The whole area looked like a massacre had taken place. Some of the birds had their heads removed before being taken.
“This gruesome act left a large amount of blood on the surrounding ground. Other distressed or injured birds had to be destroyed later.
“We can’t understand how nobody heard anything. There was no commotion caused by the cockerel.
“I think people are in dismay that anyone would do it – and that they slaughtered the chickens on the site.”
One allotment holder said: “I can’t believe that anyone could do a thing like this, the chickens were like pets.
“The chickens have been part of allotment life for the last few years providing fresh eggs to the allotment holders.”
Four coops were smashed open in the raid and thieves even tried to remove the roof of a feed store in their attempts to get access to the poultry.
It is suspected the thieves broke into the allotments through a hedge.
A knife and hammer thought to have been used in the attack were later found on the site and examined by forensics officers.
Somercotes Parish Council runs the 58-plot allotments, which are situated between Birchwood Lane and Union Street.
Anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious should contact PC Vince Hyde at Alfreton police station on 0345 123 3333.
Continued from page 1He said: It was awful. People were very upset. They were like pets and the blood was splattered across the allotments.
“They beheaded four cockerels, left the heads and taken the carcasses. It was a shock for the people up there: These birds were show birds.”
He is looking into whether the birds were taken to eat and urged anyone offered any cheap chicken to get in touch.