On Wednesday 16th July three men from outside the county were found guilty at Lincoln Magistrates Court of offences relating to Hare Coursing.
Shane Fury and Andrew Lee, both aged 23 and from Manchester, and Anthony Basford (30), from Stoke, pleaded not guilty before District Judge Stobart in relation to an incident near Glentworth on 30 October 2013.
A local gamekeeper saw the men coursing with dogs and when police officers from the Operation Galileo team arrived, two of the men attempted to run off. They were challenged and detained by police, including a police dog handler, Sgt Moon. A dead hare was found in a hedge bottom where they were located.
In court the men claimed they were simply in the county with a view to buying a dog but had taken a wrong turn, and got out to walk dogs. The claim was described by Judge Stobart as ‘a complete cock and bull story’.
All three men were disqualified from driving for 6 months, ordered to pay costs of £600 each, and were fined. Fury and Basford were fined £300 each and Lee received a fine of £150.
Inspector Andy Ham said: “Last year’s hare coursing season has long finished but cases are still going through the courts. These men decided to chance their arm by pleading not guilty and coming up with the kind of excuses regularly heard by officers on the Operation Galileo team. In this case the Court evidently shared our view that scenic as Lincolnshire may be, groups of men really don’t travel to our county from around the UK just to walk their dogs. The financial penalties and inconvenience posed by disqualification from driving, will stay with them longer than any financial gain or pleasure derived from a day out trespassing on land to kill a hare”.
North West Hunt Saboteurs Association
Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports