Three men who admitted poaching offences in East Dorset have been sentenced at court.
Shane David Manny Chapman, 27 and of Bingham Road in Verwood, Maurice Cooper, 45 and of Addison Close in Gillingham, and Peter John Nurdin, 48 and of Corner Close in Marnhull, appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court where they pleaded guilty to a charge of daytime poaching under the Game Act 1831.
The offences occurred on rural land near to Sixpenny Handley.
At around 3pm on Friday 24 November 2017 a live video was posted on the Facebook account of one of the defendants showing the three of them driving around a field in a silver vehicle.
Shane Chapman and Nurdin were seen catapulting pheasants, with Chapman also driving while his father Cooper filmed them on his phone.
Dead birds could be seen in a cardboard box on the rear seat of their vehicle and one was lying on the floor in the rear of the vehicle.
Chapman could be seen to fire several shots from his open driver’s window and at one point is seen to try and jump on to a bird as it tried to escape. He was encouraging Cooper to keep filming.
At the sentencing hearing, Chapman was fined £600 and also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge. He was also fined £100 for an offence of driving a motor vehicle without lawful authority on land not forming part of a road. His vehicle, a Suzuki Vitara that had been seized by police, was also forfeited.
Cooper and Nurdin were fined £500 for the poaching offence and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £50.
Police Constable Claire Dinsdale of Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team said: “On behalf of the rural community we very much welcome this result. Crimes such as poaching and repeat occurrences of criminal damage are prevalent across Dorset farms.
“Where farmers have tried to challenge trespassers and those causing damage, they are met with threats and abuse or worse.
“Rural crime such as this is often hard to get to court, compared to urban crimes where CCTV and witness evidence assists a prosecution case. However this is happening every week in Dorset.
“For anyone doubting the impact of poaching on our rural victims, please visit the National Farmers Union website and watch their videos of farmers talking about such rural crime. We are part of the national group set up to tackle poaching and bring standardisation to how offenders are dealt with in the courts. This is made up of police, CPS and organisations such as the NFU. For example if you use your vehicle in crime, we will apply for a disqualification from driving and for the vehicle to be crushed.
“Anyone that sees a suspected incident of poaching should call 999 immediately, reporting as much information as possible such as vehicle registration, make and model if possible. Recent incidents not happening at the time can be reported online at www.dorset.police.uk. It is crucial everyone reports such offences so we get a clearer picture of where this is happening and when.”