Gamekeeper sentenced to pay £1,365 for trapping birds of prey

31/07/2014

A 42-year-old gamekeeper on the Sydmonton Court Estate, near Basingstoke, was today at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court sentenced to pay a total of £1,365 after pleading guilty to two offences under Section 8 of the Pests Act 1954 and Regulation 2 of the Spring Traps Approval Order 2012.

Following sentencing,  Mark Gammon, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex said: "As a gamekeeper, Mark Stevens should have known that the way he had set up spring traps on a pole without any adequate cover posed a serious risk of harm or serious injury to birds of prey.

"A passer-by, who was out walking in the area of Ecchinswell (Kingslere) on Monday 19 August 2013, came across a tawny owl with its leg caught in one of Mark Stevens' traps. It was hanging head down from a post on the corner of the pheasant pen about two-three inches from the floor.

"This undoubtedly caused a measure of pain and suffering to the bird. It remained held by this trap probably for some hours until it was released by the passer-by. It was so badly injured by the trap that it could not be treated and it had to be put down by a vet.

"By pleading guilty to two offences under Section 8 of the Pests Act 1954 and Regulation 2 of the Spring Traps Approval Order 2012 Mark Stevens has admitted that the traps he set were illegal."

  • In respect of count 1, Mark Stevens received a fine of £500
  • In respect of count 2, Mark Stevens received a fine of £200
  • He was ordered to pay £650 in prosecution costs and a ££15 victim surcharge.