Norfolk Gamekeeper Allen Lambert of Stody Estate due to be sentenced today

Nine dead buzzards
Analysis found the birds had been poisoned with a pesticide

Allen Lambert convicted of what wildlife groups are calling the worst case of bird of prey poisoning recorded in England will be sentenced today.

Mr Lambert, who worked on the Stody Estate, in Norfolk was convicted of deliberately killing ten buzzards and a sparrowhawk and possessing items used to prepare poison baits. Will this be another case of small fine, a suspended sentence with a few hours community service, or will magistrates now decide  to impose a penalty more fitting the seriousness of the offences committed by Lamber- a custodial sentence?

During Lambert’s trial the defence had argued stupidly that the Norfolk gamekeeper only wanted to protect the pheasants he was rearing.

Allen Lambert, 65, who worked on the Stody Estate, near Holt in Norfolk was found guilty of deliberately killing ten buzzards and a sparrowhawk and possession of pesticides and items used to prepare poison baits.

He earlier pleaded guilty to five other charges including illegal use of pesticides.

The pesticide mevinphosAnalysis found the birds had been poisoned with a pesticide

The hearing at Norwich Magistrates’ Court followed an investigation at the game shooting estate in April 2013 by RSPB officers.

They found the remains of several birds of prey in woodland and a feed bag containing nine dead buzzards in Lambert’s house. Analysis of the remains found 11 birds had been poisoned.

Police found containers of the pesticide in Lambert’s car and storeroom, as well as a syringe and needles.

Lambert claimed a dog walker with a grudge against him had planted the dead birds, but the judge said his theory was “implausible”.

Head of RSPB investigations Bob Elliot said the discovery of the carcasses at Lambert’s home was “truly dreadful”.

“This is the worst case of bird of prey poisoning we are aware of in England, and one of the worst ever recorded in the UK,” he said.

12 comments to Norfolk Gamekeeper Allen Lambert of Stody Estate due to be sentenced today

  • Margaret Froud

    So he got a 10 week suspended sentence, which is a joke. These birds are only the ones they found, who knows how many he’s killed over the years? He should go to jail and be sacked as a gamekeeper, but once again the moneyed types who get pleasure out of shooting birds have protected their own!

    • Simon Holmes

      Until we hold land owners responsible for the actions of their gamekeepers these atrocities will continue. Lambert should be jailed and the landowner barred from all shooting activities for 5 years.

  • Nigel Miller

    The worst case ever recorded and he gets a 10 week suspended sentence and a measly fine. Words fail me. What has happened to the law in this country under this government ?

  • Tim Sarney

    Disgraceful sentence. This sends a clear message to raptor killers to continue as normal. Hopefully the RSPB will be successful in getting the estate stripped of all public funding.

    Additional information (extracts) from the BBC News Article:

    Birds of prey are protected by law and the Stody Estate has been a national pioneer in wildlife enhancement schemes.

    The RSPB said it was the worst bird of prey poisoning case it had seen in England and was one of the worst to ever occur in the UK.

    What is the responsibility of the landowner in a case like this? Well, it depends where you live.

    In England a landowner is not responsible for a gamekeeper’s crimes.

    There is no evidence that the owner of the prestigious Stody Estate, Charles MacNicol, knew about the poisonings. He wouldn’t tell BBC News whether he knew, or whether he condemned the killings.

    The Scottish government has made landowners share the blame for gamekeepers’ misdemeanours. It says there appears to have been a significant drop in killings.

    The RSPB wants England to follow suit but the environment department Defra says the evidence that the policy is working is not strong enough.

    The RSPB is also calling for the Stody Estate to be stripped of government grants it has received for promoting wildlife.

  • This is a shameful crime and a disgracefully light sentence. Both the gamekeeper and his employer should now be in jail. Most farmers and landowners are committed to preserving the environment that they have a responsibility to protect and this type of action brings discredit to our entire farming community. All respectable people can only hope that these two individuals are ostracised from the local community to which they belong.

  • NiconIes

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post.Much thanks again. Great.

  • NiconIes

    Thank you for your post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

  • paul williams

    Rogue gamekeepers are becoming ubiquitous.

  • thomas carroll

    You can be sent to prison for less.

  • Robert Watson

    If a game-keeper takes this action it must have been at his employers behest simple solution prosecute the landowner and hit him with a custodial sentence.

    Editor’s Comment. Robert have you ever considered why no gamekeeper in England, and possibly Scotland for that matter has ever been sent to prison for wildlife crime. We are fighting the establishment here, very doubtful that this will change.

  • indy

    Imagine how much killing these raptors would have done towards other wild birds which are on decline and not protected from these killing machines which I see on a regular basis in my garden.I condemn the poisoning but the increase of these birds of prey is out of control.

    Editor’s Comment. Indy, you really must get your facts straight. The loss of song birds has little or nothing to do with predation by raptors, but more to do with agricultural practices and pesticides. If you take a look at eastern European countries, raptors are at much higher densities than here in the UK. At the same time song bird numbers remain at normal levels,so far. We say so far because many countries in eastern Europe are now using harmful pesticides possible paid for my EU subsidies.

  • paul williams

    No mention of the millions of songbirds taken by domestic cats.