A local estate agent has spoken of the terrifying moment she was viciously assaulted by two men on her Magheralin farm.
Libby Clarke of Joyce Clarke was knocked unconscious when she was confronted by the men at her farm last week.
She sustained severe bruising to her face and was taken to hospital where she required five stitches on Tuesday night of last week.
Libby believes the men were part of a gang who have been stealing equipment from farms.
“I came home from work and went down to move some cattle around seven o’clock.
“I walked around a corner in the yard and there were two people, who were not connected to anyone on the farm, coming towards me.
“They came over as if they were going to talk to me but I don’t remember much after that apart from waking up covered in blood.”
Libby was woken minutes later by a man who raised the alarm and the police arrived on the scene within minutes.
“I’m just lucky that I didn’t have my children with me, quite often I have them with me around the farm,” she said. “The men were in their early twenties but I don’t remember them speaking.
“I’m getting more things coming back to me. It was totally unexpected, they were about five or six feet away when I first saw them.
“I don’t think I was out for very long.
“The police were there about 7.20pm.
“I was back from A&E at 3am and I was back out with the cattle at 5am. I’m still sore but ok apart from that.”
A livestock trailer was stolen from the Clarke farm about a month previously, but Libby believes the incidents are unconnected.
She said, “The gangs involved seem now to be targeting more expensive farm equipment, including tractors costing 30, 40 and £50,000.
“That’s what makes it very organised.
“They drop a couple of people off at a farm once they see an opportunity and park a distance away.
“People shouldn’t be taking a chance leaving tractors or other machinery in their fields at night.
“If they see anything suspicious they should keep out of sight and ring the police immediately.
“The police don’t mind if it turns out to be a false alarm. They are very determined to get this gang.”