February 3, 2018
A hare courser who said his illegal hunting was “for the pot” has been warned by a sheriff he could lose his car, dog and freedom when he is sentenced.
James McPhee admitted two charges of hunting hares on farmland near Forfar last year and a sheriff expressed concern about the 51-year-old’s attitude to the crimes as expressed to social workers in a report prepared for the court, leaving the car dealer in no doubt that prison is at the top of the list of sentencing options.
McPhee, of Bloomfield Crescent, Arbroath previously pled guilty to charges of hunting a brown hare with a dog at farms near Forfar on April 28 and May 12.
Hare coursing was outlawed by legislation in 2002 but the court was told, as a member of the Travelling fraternity, McPhee carried out the activity as a means of getting food and was not involved in the gambling which is often linked to the crime.
Farmers witnessed the evening incidents in their fields and McPhee was seen to drive off in a Subaru Forester.
Continuing the case until later this month, Sheriff Murray told the accused that a prison sentence is a distinct possibility.
“You have a lengthy record for things like this,” he told McPhee.
“I have extensive powers in this matter. They include taking your car away and taking your dog away”.
Sheriff Murray said he wanted proof of the ownership of the vehicle involved in the case, and information about where the lurcher-type dog involved now is.
He warned McPhee: “With regard to your record, there is only one thing that is right at the top of my mind, and that is sending you to jail”.
North West Hunt Saboteurs Association
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Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports