A FARMER accused of intimidating a council animal welfare officer who was due to give evidence against him in a sheep worrying case has agreed to be bound over to keep the peace.

At Gloucester Crown Court the prosecution dropped the case against Gary Clift, 55, of Lye Farm in Uley in return for him accepting a bind over.

Judge Michael Harington bound Clift over for 12 months in the sum of £100 and told him if he behaved himself for that period he would hear no more about it.

Prosecutor Mark Hollier said "He is a farmer. There was a prosecution against him in the local magistrates court alleging that he permitted his dogs to worry sheep.

"That is a summary only matter to be tried in the magistrates court.

"Subsequently he made ill advised contact with the principal witness in the case, an animal welfare officer at Stroud, and found himself accused of witness intimidation.

"The judge at the last hearing thought that proceeding against him for witness intimidation was taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut but it is important, in the submission of the Crown, to mark this matter.

"Essentially, by consent, it is my application for him to be bound over to keep the peace in the sum of £100 for a period of 12 months to be of good behaviour and keep the peace.

"If the court agrees I will then discontinue these proceedings."

Mr Clift, when asked by the judge, agreed to be bound over.

The judge told him "You must comply with the terms that you are of good behaviour and you keep the peace."