Two-year dog ban after hare coursing at Perthshire farm

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) 20 Feb 2016

A man has been banned from keeping dogs for two years after he and his father were found guilty of hare coursing.

John Stewart, 21, and Mark Reid, 45, set their lurcher dogs on the wild hares and watched as the dogs tore the animals apart.

Mark Reid (L) and son John Stewart were found guilty at Perth Sheriff Court of hare coursing
Mark Reid (L) and son John Stewart were found guilty at Perth Sheriff Court of hare coursing

The rigid carcasses of the two dead hares were shown in court during the trial of the father and son and two of their associates.

Eye witness Robert McElwee told Perth Sheriff Court: “I saw two dogs pulling a hare apart. They were lurchers. They were about 150 yards away.

“The people with them were further away. Before that we had seen them for some time with the dogs. They were lined out across the field looking for hares. We knew what it was – coursing hares.”

PC George Westwood said: “I saw two persons running off with dogs across the field.

“We collected two hares from the stubble field near the steading. They were fresh, they were still limp.”

He said they found James McPhee, 49, from Arbroath, and James McConnachie, 48, from Dundee, close to the scene. Both men were charged but cleared at the trial due to a lack of evidence to link them directly to the hare coursing.

But Stewart, Balgate Mill, Kiltarlity, and Reid, Teviotdale Avenue, Dundee, were found guilty of deliberately hunting brown hares with three dogs at West Cultmalundie Farm, Tibbermore, on November 2 last year.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis deferred sentence on Reid for reports. He ordered Stewart to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and banned him from “having custody of any dog” for two years.

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