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Severed deer’s head left on commemorative stone in Burley alongside upturned cross

A SEVERED deer’s head and an upturned cross was left in a New Forest village the day before several sheep were found mutilated.

Retired police officer Chris White, who works in Shappen Stores in Burley, was alerted to the grisly incident by a customer on Wednesday 8th May.

A severed deer head and upturned cross were left on a stone in Burley (Picture: Chris White)
A severed deer head and upturned cross were left on a stone in Burley (Picture: Chris White)

The rotting head had been left on top of a memorial stone erected by the parish council to mark the millennium celebrations.

On the ground was an upturned cross, which is often a symbol used by the occult.

Chris told the A&T: “It wasn’t there at 5.30am as someone had walked by there then, but it was found at around 10am.

“It was definitely left there to be seen. I disposed of it as I didn’t want any kids to see it.

“Being aware of various other things that have been happening, I kept the cross and contacted the police.”

A ewe was stabbed
A ewe was stabbed

As reported in the A&T, sheep from a farm in Cadnam were found mutilated just a day later.

Owners Andrew Parry-Norton and wife Sarah believe a barbed spear or knife had been used.

They branded those responsible for the attack on their five sheep “sick” and “perverse”.

Asked who he thought was responsible for the severed deer head, Chris added: “It is hard to say, but as a former police officer, I am evidence based and there is no evidence to link it to any other incidents.

“I would be surprised if it was poachers, as it is the wrong time of year.

“Whether the cross could have been stolen from the nearby church, I don’t know.”

Sheep have been targeted in the area in recent years
Sheep have been targeted in the area in recent years

PC Matthew Thelwell said police were investigating both incidents, adding: “The deliberate killing or maiming of any animals in the New Forest is an abhorrent crime and one we will not tolerate.

“We know just how distressing it is for someone to make a discovery like this, as it is for the owners of any animals which are killed and for the local community as a whole.

“Our team have been conducting extensive enquiries, including house-to-house visits in the areas, seeking out CCTV and ensuring all lines of enquiry are investigated thoroughly.

“We have also been in contact with the owner of the sheep, and have been also been liaising with Burley Parish Council.

“Whilst these two incidents are not currently being linked to any previous animal deaths, we are keeping an open mind.”

He said residents would continue to see patrols in both areas while investigations continued.

Last May commoner Patrick Langdown told the A&T he feared occult-style animal killings had returned to the area after one of his lambs was found dumped and with its throat slit at Long Cross Pond, near Fritham.

In January 2023 animal entrails – thought to include hearts – surrounded by a circle of 30 candles were arranged at the top of a trig point of Stagbury Hill, near Bramshaw.

In December 2022 the 12th century St Peter’s Church, on Judds Hill, was targeted twice, which the Rev David Bacon described as “upsetting.”

Later that year police launched an investigation after sheep and cattle were found stabbed and sprayed with occult markings in the space of five days within a few miles of each other in the Bramshaw area, but the perpetrator was never found.

Those with any information on the latest crimes should call 101, quoting reference 44240192082.

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