Hare courser handed extra fine following appeal

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A man who appealed against a hare coursing conviction has been handed an additional fine.

Michael Birks (48) from Thorpe St Peter was caught trespassing on land in Bull Drove, Wrangle with a lurcher in the pursuit of game and was reported on summons and convicted with ‘trespassing in the search of game’ at Boston Magistrates Court .  Mr Birks was given a conditional discharge and fined £225.

The defence of Mr Birks immediately appealed stating that Lincolnshire Police hadn’t spoken with the wife of Mr Birks, who would have said that she had let the dog out of a vehicle and it ran off, with Mr Birks chasing after it.  Following several court appearances the appeal was dismissed by Honour Judge Simon Hurst at Lincoln Crown Court, who added an additional £500 fine.

On the day Mr Birks and his wife gave different responses to questions in the dock, with Mr Birks claiming he had never owned a dog of similar breed before and his wife said they had owned several.

Supt Mark Housley, force lead for rural crime for Lincolnshire Police, said: “It is satisfying that we have reached a successful outcome in this case and I welcome the action of the Crown Prosecution Service.  We would have rather not have been required to go through the appeal process but the hard work of our rural crime officers has ensured a positive outcome in the end.  Hare coursing will not be tolerated in Lincolnshire and I would urge anyone who has seen people taking part in this illegal activity to report it by calling us on 101.”