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4 hare coursers caught, fined and banned from keeping dogs for 2 years

The court ordered the three dogs to be forfeited and these will now be rehomed.

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Four men have been convicted of hare coursing under new legislation aimed at tackling the offence. It comes after two separate reports of hare coursing lead to their arrests last year.

The first happened in the Walpole Highway area on 12 October 2023 when four men were arrested, and three dogs seized.

Appearing at King’s Lynn Magistrates Court on Thursday 25 January 2024 all four admitted the offence of trespassing in pursuit of game and criminal damage to the field.

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One of the lurchers rescued by police; it will be rehomed

One of the lurchers rescued by police; it will be rehomed

They were each ordered to pay fines and costs and banned from keeping dogs for two years:

  • Mark Dean, 26, of Woodstock Lane South, Chessington was fined £250, ordered to pay £100 victim surcharge, £105 prosecution costs, £250 compensation for the damage to the field and £425 towards the cost of kennelling the dogs.
  • Henry Smith, 35, of Oveton Way, Leatherhead was fined £250, ordered to pay £100 victim surcharge, £105 prosecution costs, £250 compensation for the damage to the field and £425 towards the cost of kennelling the dogs.
  • Miley Smith, 28, of Fairbridge Way, Burgess Hill was fined £200, ordered to pay £80 victim surcharge, £105 prosecution costs, £250 compensation for the damage to the field and £425 towards the cost of kennelling the dogs.
  • Callum King, 28, of Lower Common, Eversley also pleaded guilty to an additional offence of driving without insurance during the same incident and was fined £416, ordered to pay £166 victim surcharge, £105 prosecution costs, £250 compensation for the damage to the field and £425 towards the cost of kennelling the dogs.

The court ordered the three dogs to be forfeited and these will now be rehomed.

The second incident was reported on 10 December 2023 around the Barroway Drove area of Downham Market where another four men were arrested, and two dogs seized.

All four pleaded guilty to the offence of trespassing in pursuit of game at King’s Lynn Magistrates Court on Thursday 25 January.

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  • Jimmy Lee, 38, of Park Lane, Wokingham was fined £500, ordered to pay £200 victim surcharge, £105 prosecution costs, and £216 towards the cost of kennelling the dogs.
  • Wayne Shelley, 50, of Wokingham Road, Crowthorne was fined £500, ordered to pay £200 victim surcharge, £105 prosecution costs, and £216 towards the cost of kennelling the dogs.
  • Edward Connors, 28, of Peeks Brook Lane, Horley was fined £500, ordered to pay £200 victim surcharge, £105 prosecution costs, and £216 towards the cost of kennelling the dogs.
  • Albert Eastwood, 28, of Denton Close, Redhill was fined £600, ordered to pay £240 victim surcharge, £105 prosecution costs, and £216 towards the cost of kennelling the dogs.

The court ordered the two dogs to be forfeited and these will now be rehomed.

All eight were issued with a two-year court order banning them from owning or keeping dogs.

Under the new law introduced in 2022 those convicted of hare coursing, going equipped, or trespassing with intent to pursue hares face unlimited fines and up to six months in prison.

Courts can also order costs towards kennelling paid for by police.

These are the first sentences in Norfolk under the new legislation.

PC Chris Shelley from the OP Randall Rural Crime Team said: “Norfolk Constabulary will continue to tackle this cruel and illegal crime; it has no place in modern society and has been illegal in all forms for nearly 20 years now.

“As a force we will continue to use the powers the new legislation introduced in 2022 to tackle it has given us by seizing dogs and seeking to recoup costs from individuals found guilty of such offences, alongside disqualification orders and compensating the victims of damage to their property.”

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