Cotswolds hare hunting: Man hit with huge fine after illegal New Year’s Day coursing

Police said he wreaked ‘so much pain and suffering on the wildlife’

4th October 2021

A man has been fined £1,713 after being convicted of illegally hunting hares.

Anthony Williams, of Southend Lane in Newent, entered farmland in the Cotswolds in the hours of darkness, accompanied by two boys.

He then encouraged his Lurcher-type dogs to hunt hares in the area, known as coursing.

The Game Keeper of the private estate near Cirencester was watching and immediately called 999.

Gloucestershire Police attended, and Mr Williams along with the two boys were arrested, with their vehicle and the dogs also seized by officers.

The two boys were dealt with by the Youth Offending Team, but Mr Williams was summonsed to court and was fined last Thursday (September 30).

The incident took place on New Year’s Day (January 1, 2021), with the court hearing how the crime was premeditated.

It was told how Mr Williams had subjected many hares to cruelty, and caused distress to the landowner and the Game Keeper.

Williams was convicted under the 2004 Hunting Act, which carries a far more substantial fine than the Game Act legislation.

Under the Game Act, the average fine imposed in a UK court for hare coursing was below £250, while Mr Williams was fined £1,713, to be paid within 28 days.

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PC Weller from the Rural Crime Team said: “The Rural Crime Team work closely with the farming and wildlife protection communities and these acts of cruelty in our county will not be tolerated.

“We will continue to show a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to hare coursing as it wreaks so much pain and suffering on the wildlife, as well as disruption and fear in the farming community.

“Knowing this we thought it was more suitable to prosecute Mr Williams under the 2004 Hunting Act which carries a far more substantial fine.

“We will aim to utilise the 2004 legislation in all future prosecutions as it allows us impose the heftier fines, which will act as a greater deterrent.”

One Reply to “Cotswolds hare hunting: Man hit with huge fine after illegal New Year’s Day coursing”

  1. I don’t know why the boys have to be treated any differently they are all evil bastards and should be locked up, also I hope the dogs have been taken off them. FILTHY SCUM

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