FOUR horses have been electrocuted after mindless metal thieves left overhead power lines hanging dangerously low to a farmer's field.

The animals all died after wandering into the high voltage cables. Electricity strays from power lines if there is a direct path to the ground.

The distressing scene was discovered on Sunday afternoon and reported to Northern Powergrid.

A man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the horses could not be immediately moved from the field on the outskirts of Redmarshall village, near Stockton, and was causing prolonged upset.

It is understood no arrests have been made in connection with the senseless incident, however a £1,000 reward is being offered to anyone able to provide information that could lead to a conviction.

A Northern Powergrid spokeswoman said: "We isolated power supplies in the area following reports from the public and emergency repairs have been made to our network.

"Interfering with a live electricity network is both highly dangerous and illegal.

"The actions of these criminals have caused the tragic death of four innocent animals and our thoughts are with their owners."

Criminals stealing metal to sell for scrap are known to target overhead power lines and copper earth tape used to provide earthing and lightning protection to electricity substations.

Northern Powergrid added: "Through our partnership with the charity Crimestoppers, a reward of up to £1,000 is available to anyone who has information that could lead to a conviction of the people behind this crime.

"To stay 100 per cent anonymous contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800-555111 or visit

and use their anonymous online form. Alternatively, you can call the police on 101."

To qualify for a reward, information must be given directly to Crimestoppers.

A Crimestoppers’ spokesman said: “If you know who was responsible for the attempted cable theft which led to the horses deaths, please let our charity know.

"Together we can help protect our communities and prevent others from being harmed by the irresponsible actions of these people.”