Illegal hare coursers fined

TWO men caught illegally hare coursing on a Hollesley farmer's land have been fined and the Land Rover they used to carry their dogs is to be destroyed.

TWO men caught illegally hare coursing on a Hollesley farmer's land have been fined and the Land Rover they used to carry their dogs is to be destroyed.

Ipswich magistrates ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the Land Rover Discovery after the men pleaded guilty to entering the land as trespassers in search of game.

Kenneth Smith, of Meadow Road, Farnborough, in Hampshire, and Derek Tomlin, of Newbury Avenue, Enfield Lock, in Middlesex, were charged under the Game Act 1831 after witnesses saw their dogs chase and kill a hare on land near the BT exchange at Hollesley.

The men were reported after police were called to Church Lane at about 3.40pm on December 11 last year.


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Workers at the BT exchange heard dogs barking and saw one of the dogs kill a hare after pinning it to the ground.

The owner of the land pointed out four men walking across his field and when the men returned to the Land Rover on a nearby road the police officers found it had a blacked-out section in the back, complete with cage, for transporting dogs.

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Smith, 38, and Tomlin, 55, told the hearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates' court they were unaware one of the four lurcher dogs had killed the hare.

But they added they would never go hare coursing again now that the recently introduced hunting ban was in place and therefore did not oppose the destruction of the Land Rover, which belonged to an acquaintance.

"One thing is for certain, we won't be going hare coursing again because of the new act," Tomlin, a labourer, said.

"We're sorry that this happened.

"We were trying to find the dog but the dog didn't come back. We lost it for about half an hour."

Smith, a father-of-five, who used to live in Nacton, said: "We didn't know the dog had killed the hare.

"We were meant to meet a chap from Bucklesham in that area because he was going to take us on a mission. We thought that (where we were) was the mission."

Magistrate Jim Wyllie fined Smith and Tomlin £100 each for trespassing in search of game and ordered them each to pay £43 costs.

"We have taken into account your mitigation and we have taken into account your timely guilty pleas," he said.

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