New Forest deer head: Villagers ‘appalled’ by find

A man who removed a deer head from a memorial stone said he and fellow villagers were “appalled” by the discovery.

Chris White, who works in a shop in Burley in the New Forest, Hampshire, said someone alerted him to a severed head and an upside down wooden cross placed on the stone on 8 May.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary said it was investigating this incident along with a report that five sheep had been stabbed to death in nearby Cadnam.

The force said it was not currently linking these animal deaths to previous incidents involving animals but was “keeping an open mind”.

Warning: This story contains a graphic image that some readers may find upsetting.

In February, 25 dead wild animals, including pheasants, hares and a decapitated deer, were found close to a primary school in the village of Awbridge.

A further 50 dead animals were scattered outside a community shop in Broughton in March.

While in November 2019, occult symbols were painted on a killed sheep and on the door of St Peter’s Church in Bramshaw.

Of the deer head find, Mr White said: “It was myself that removed the severed head from the memorial stone in the centre of the village…

“People are quite appalled because children were walking by.”

A Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary spokesperson said officers had been in contact with the owner of the sheep, as well as Burley Parish Council, and been conducting inquiries in the area.

“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,” they continued.

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

“If any further evidence suggests that they are linked, this will be fully investigated.

“You will continue to see targeted patrols in these areas while our investigation continues.”

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