28th September 2021
Four poachers have been banned from stepping foot on Suffolk’s farmland while with certain breeds of dogs after they were caught hare coursing.
Thomas Connors, 43, Patrick Rooney, 36, Anthony Connors, 34, and James Bell, 20, were handed an order which bans them being on private agricultural or farm land, or any yards or working areas associated with that land, in or on any vehicle, or on foot whilst in possession of one or more sighthound or cross sighthound breed, unless the land owner’s written permission has been obtained beforehand, by magistrates on Wednesday.
The order, which covers Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and Essex, was handed to them after they were caught hare coursing in Abbots Ripton.
Officers from Cambridgeshire Police’s rural crime action team found them driving through a field on November 4 last year looking for hares.
When the gang saw officers they drove off through fields, and after a short chase though the village, drove back onto farmland before stopping.
At Cambridge Magistrates’ Court last week they admitted daytime trespass in pursuit of game, and have each been handed a three year criminal behaviour order which bans them from farmland in the four counties while with certain breeds of dogs.
They were also ordered to pay £178 in compensation to the owner of the fields and wildlife conservation areas they damaged.
Thomas Connors, of Carew Road, Wallington, Surrey, was fined £150, while Anthony Connors, of Croydon Road, Keston, Kent, Rooney, of Rutland Avenue, High Wycombe; and Bell, of Oaksview Park, Murcott, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, were fined £200.