Derbyshire Gamekeeper “Guilty” on all seven charges

North East Derbyshire & Dales Magistrates Court sitting at Chesterfield this morning delivered their verdict, Mr. Glen Brown, gamekeeper, has been found guilty of a seven charges today by the court. At this time we have no additional information of the sentence handed down, however it is likely to be sever taking into account the serious nature of the seven charges brought by the CPS. We are also informed because of the embarrassment this gamekeeper has caused to his employer he will possibly lose his job.

Update to this posting.

Mr. Brown sentenced to 100 hours community service and ordered to pay £10,000 court costs. The big question is, who will pay the costs, Mr Brown of his employer?

Details of the in-depth RSPB investigation can be viewed by following this link: http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/investigations/archive/2011/06/14/shadowy-existence.aspx

Footnote:

Will this  sentence result in the threat of persecution to other raptors in Derbyshire and elsewhere like goshawk, hen harrier and peregrine being reduced. Will the high costs handed down by the court prove any deterrent to those individuals who feel they have a right to take the laws associated with England’s wildlife into their own hands in the future? Had it not been for the costs incurred by Brown, his 100 hours community service was pitiful and inadequate considering the severity of the charges and the fact that he could have faced a custodial sentence and a  fine of at least £5000

Congratulations to the RSPB and the investigating  Derbyshire police officers, what a pity Mr. Brown was spared a heavy fine for his criminal actions.

BBC Live Interview

Follow this link to the BBC News Report live interview with an RSPB official  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13751274

RSPB Press Release

Gamekeeper guilty of bird of prey crime

A Derbyshire gamekeeper has been found guilty of attempting to illegally trap and kill birds of prey.Following a ten-day trial at Chesterfield Magistrates Court, Glenn Brown was convicted today of seven offences under the Countryside and Wildlife Act 1981, relating to the unlawful use of a cage trap on a grouse shooting estate on the Upper Derwent Valley.  He was sentenced to 100 hours community service and ordered to pay £10,000 costs. 

Brown was originally arrested by Derbyshire Police in May 2010, following a covert surveillance operation by an RSPB investigations team, who filmed the gamekeeper using a cage trap baited with a live domestic pigeon. Although cage traps are legal in certain circumstances for predator control, it is unlawful both to use a pigeon as bait and to capture birds of prey.  

Mark Thomas, RSPB Investigations officer, said: “We welcome this conviction as it sends a clear message that bird of prey persecution remains a serious and orchestrated crime, which continues to steal from society at large.  “Glenn Brown’s illegal actions have damaged the reputations of both his employer and of the game shooting industry in general.   “If they are serious about eradicating wildlife crime, both individual employers and the industry’s representative bodies need to do more to ensure that such people have no future in the game shooting business.

Bird of prey persecution is a UK Wildlife Crime Priority, and it is vital that Government and the police lead a renewed and concerted effort to afford birds of prey the protection they are due. As part of this, the UK Government should introduce a vicarious liability offence to make managers and employers responsible for the actions of their gamekeepers, as is the case in Scotland.” 

In the past decade, the RSPB has become increasingly concerned about the poor breeding success of birds of prey in the northern Peak District, (Dark Peak). In 2006, the Society produced the report ‘Peak Malpractice’ which graphically outlined its concerns in relation to goshawks and peregrines on the north-east Peak moors. Since then, the breeding success of both species has collapsed in the adjacent Derwent Valley, prompting the undercover investigation leading to this court case. The RSPB’s ‘Birdcrime 2009’ report names Derbyshire as the third worst county in the UK for reported incidents of crimes against birds of prey.

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