Christmas Eve deer hunters found guilty

Two men have been found guilty of illegal deer hunting near Haxey, North Lincolnshire, after being detained by officers on Christmas Eve last year.

At the time Humberside Police received a number of reports of two men using dogs to pursue a group of Roe deer in the area.

The body of a freshly killed male Roe deer was discovered nearby. The injuries found on the deer were consistent with it having being killed by dogs.

The poachers were eventually discovered coming off private farm land with lurcher type dogs, which feature in most poaching offences, at East Lound.

Scott Hayes and Christopher Darwin, both appeared at Grimsby Magistrates Court last week, charged with poaching offences under Section 1 of the Deer Act 1991. Both men were found guilty and sentenced to a one-year Community Order, 300 hours of unpaid work, £350 court costs, £85 victim surcharge and a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

Speaking after sentencing Chief Inspector Paul Butler said: “This court result should send out a very clear message to those who commit wildlife offences that we take these offences seriously and will seek other sanctions available to the courts.

“The obtaining of CBOs in this case provides other police forces with a straight forward tool to deal with these men if they choose to commit wildlife offences with the use of the type of dog involved. I would like to thank the Wildlife Crime Officers involved in bringing this case before the court, the CPS Prosecutors involved and also the court for taking such offences seriously.”