Urban fox hunter to pay £500 fine

A DUMBARTON man has been fined £500 for fox hunting.

Martin Johnstone was spotted digging holes and sending a dog down to hunt foxes on wasteland near to Southdeen Avenue, Drumchapel, in June this year.

The 32-year-old forklift driver was arrested after police arrived and saw him and a fox running from a hole he had dug.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday, Johnstone, of Fraser Avenue, Dumbarton, admitted deliberately hunting the animals on June 31 this year.

His co-accused Alexander McCafferty, 25, of Boghead Avenue, Dumbarton, had his not guilty plea accepted.

Prosecutor Wendy Hay told the court that a witness living in nearby flats saw Johnstone digging between 9.30am and 10am.

Miss Hay said: “The witness knew that the accused was digging in a place where foxes lived and telephoned police.

“The police attended and saw the accused emerge from the hole he had been digging and start to run away from the area.

“As he ran off, a fox was also seen to run from the hole.

“The officers managed to catch up with the accused who told them that he had been digging to try and find a lost dog.

“But CCTV footage showed the accused placing a dog down the hole a number of times after adjusting a tracking device on its collar.

“The accused was taken to the police office where he was interviewed but did not make any admissions to the offence.”

Defence lawyer Andrew Gallen told the court that Johnstone had instructed him not to tell the court about the circumstances of the offence or why he did it.

Mr Gallen simply added that the dog had been taken into police custody but was now back with Johnstone.

Sheriff Norman Ritchie reduced Johnstone’s fine from £600 to £500 because of his early plea of guilty.



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