TWO Tredegar men who slaughtered a wild deer in the Forest of Dean were found covered in blood after trying to flee the scene, a court heard.
Stefan Doorhof, 24, of Brompton Place, and Adam Taylor, 30, of Llwynhelyg, had lurcher dogs which ‘mauled’ the deer before the men cut its throat and gutted it, Cheltenham magistrates heard today.
The pair were each fined £1,000 by justices who declined to look at photographs of the dead deer after being told they were ‘distressing.’
The men had been noticed by an eye witness shortly before the offence at Kiln Field, Coleford, Gloucestershire, because they were "dressed scruffy and looked suspicious", the court was told.
They were then seen running behind the lurchers in the direction of three deer before the dogs caught up and attacked one, bringing it to the ground. After killing it the men returned to their car and sped off towards Staunton.
Police later stopped the vehicle in Monmouth and Taylor, who was driving, had fresh blood over his hands and clothing.
When asked why he was covered in blood, he replied: "It’s come from my dog".
Officers inspected the dogs in the boot and found no blood on them before arresting the men for poaching under section 1 of the Deer Act.
Both men, who work as railway engineers, pleaded guilty to intentionally killing the deer and were fined £1000 each. They were also ordered to pay £50 costs and a £100 victim surcharge each.
The court had heard from a forestry ranger that the deer had undoubtedly experienced ‘excruciating pain’ before it died.
It was still warm to the touch when the carcase was found – indicating it had died less than hour earlier.
Forest of Dean senior verderer Bob Jenkins said after the hearing that poachers "often come from south Wales".
He warned: "The deer are the Queen’s animals and people do not have the right to kill them. If they want venison there is a proper procedure for doing it.
"The Forestry Commission has an annual cull and it is a damn sight cheaper than paying £2,000 for one deer – that is a very dear price indeed."
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