A FARMER was this week stabbed as he tried to stop thieves making off with his quad bike in broad daylight.

Oli Watkins, who says he is fed up with being a victim of rural crime, sustained a wound to his arm from one of three thieves who stole the quad on Monday lunchtime from the family's farm in Clodock.

He was driving home with his dad and his one-year-old daughter when they saw their quad bike behind a black Audi A4 in a layby on the side of the A465 near Abergavenny, about nine miles from their Black Mountains farm.

He said there were three men at the scene, two were in the Audi and one was outside the vehicle unstrapping the quad from the back of the vehicle which they had been pulling along behind.

Oli, aged 35, said: "We have pulled in. It has got messy.

"He had a hooked blade knife. When he was coming at me he was doing a slashing motion."

His 67-year-old dad, Denis, also got out of their vehicle and went up to the driver in the Audi who lunged at him with a 10-inch carving knife.

They then tried to grab the third man out of the vehicle, which was damaged during the fight, and all three men started to make off from the scene before deciding to return.

Despite Oli and Dennis' best efforts, the three men made off in the Audi.

Oli had called the police and the struggle was heard over the telephone. Police attended and it is believed the men were later caught.

The quad bike was left in the layby and is with the police but Oli said it was damaged during the incident.

This is not the first time the farmer has been a victim of rural crime. In 2013 and in 2016 quad bikes were stolen from his farm. He has also had trailers, batteries and other items stolen.

Oli said: "We have had our guts full of it. It [rural crime] has cost us a lot. Not just a little bit of money. I live a life, you do your work every day, every week. You do everything to the best of your abilities.

"When they come along and do that, it costs us a lot."

He said dealing with incidents like this also takes time out of their working day while he now needs to go to hospital and have a tetanus jab for the knife wound.

He said they have had their hardest lambing season yet at the farm and this just adds to the stresses of working in their industry.

But Oli added: "We keep coming back. We will survive but it is just happening all of the time."

However, he said he wouldn't challenge thieves in such a way again as he knows the quad bike is insured.

Gwent Police, who are leading the investigation as the altercation took place over the border into Wales, are now appealing for information.

Gwent Police are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed the incident.

The police said: "It is understood that three vehicles, described as a black Audi estate car, a white Ford pick-up and a red quad bike, were parked in the layby at the time.

"We would also like to speak to anyone who may have seen a black Audi estate car driving in or around the Pandy are and/or towing a red quad on April 9."

Anyone with information that could assist with Gwent Police's enquiries is asked to call 101 quoting log number 262 9/4/18.