A TEENAGER slaughtered a lamb, cut off its leg and tried to cook it on a camp fire in front of his horrified friends. Alex Sleigh stabbed the terrified animal with his grandfather’s war bayonet.

The 18-year-old told police he had intended hunting and killing for his own pleasure and it would have been more fun if the animal had “put up more of a struggle”, a court heard.

Officers found a cache of weapons under Sleigh’s bed and recovered some “concerning” documents from his home.

 Sleigh, said by a judge to have a “worrying interest in weaponry and explosives”, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome after the incident and had had treatment.

He admitted possessing a bladed article and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Sleigh, of St Catherine’s Drive, Blackrod,was given a two- year supervision order and was banned from owning or keeping animals for five years.

Natalia Cornwall, prosecuting, at Burnley Crown Court, said on March 31, Sleigh, was camping in the Rivington area with a group of about 20 youths around a camp fire.

He left and returned at about 9.30pm, carrying a dead lamb. Sleigh was asked where he had got it from and replied “I have just killed it”.

 

 He told the group he did it because he was hungry and then cut off one leg, put it on a skewer and tried to cook it. After a few minutes he tossed the leg away, saying it was not cooking.

Some of the group were unhappy and called the police.

Miss Cornwall said Sleigh told officers he had a knife in his bag and they found a large bayonet-style knife covered in blood.

Sleigh, who has no previous convictions, told the police he had not killed any animals before but had thought of hunting for a while.

Andy Pilkington, defending, said: “They are concerning offences, to say the least.

“He has not done it with the intention of killing an animal for any sadistic purposes.”

Mr Pilkington said the offences were the catalyst for Sleigh, currently on a work placement in catering, being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

He added it did not excuse his behaviour, but it could at least be understood.

Mr Pilkington said what Sleigh did must have been “terrifying for the animal”.

Sentencing Sleigh, Judge Simon Newell, who had read medical reports from two psychiatrists, told him: “Both doctors take the view you are not a significant risk to the general public, but there are concerns as a result of Asperger’s as to your future and possible future criminality.”

The judge added he hoped funding could be made available for specialist treatment for Sleigh.

Judge Newell told Sleigh: “We hope this is one-off behaviour. I am sure it is. I am sure you now realise that which you did you shouldn’t have done, that it won’t happen again, that with the support of your family and the probation service you can put in place around you such structures as will help you lead a law abiding life in the future.”

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