Derbyshire gamekeeper convicted of trapping protected birds

13/06/2011

A Derbyshire gamekeeper has been found guilty of seven offences relating to setting a trap to capture protected birds of prey – actions described by CPS Senior Crown Prosecutor Rod Chapman as showing "wilful disregard" for the protection given to these birds.

Glenn Brown set the trap on land in Upper Derwent Valley in the Peak District, and baited it with live birds. An RSPB investigation discovered the trap and obtained evidence that its purpose was to trap birds of prey, and identified Brown at the scene. He was subsequently charged and prosecuted.

During the ten-day trial at Chesterfield Magistrates Court, Brown faced a total of seven charges including using a trap to take or kill a wild bird, taking a schedule 1 wild bird, causing unnecessary suffering, failing to care for protected birds and one of possessing equipment capable of being used to commit wildlife crime. He was found guilty of all offences, and sentenced to 100 hours community service and ordered to pay £10,000 court costs. He was also disqualified from keeping pigeons for five years. He will also lose his licence to use traps for legitimate game keeping purposes.

Rod Chapman, Senior Crown Prosecutor from CPS East Midlands said:
"Glenn Brown has been convicted of a series of offences relating to setting a trap to capture wild birds protected by law and causing unnecessary suffering. Birds of prey are part of our natural heritage and these crimes removed them from our environment. Brown set traps baited to attract birds of prey, putting endangered species like the rare goshawk at risk, and caused unnecessary suffering to other birds.These laws exist to protect endangered wildlife from persecution, but Glenn Brown showed a wilful disregard for that protection in his actions."

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."