Hare courser branded ‘lazy’ after he didn’t bother to get out of car as he set dog loose in field

3rd March 2023

A hare courser who was branded “lazy” for watching the kill from the comfort of his car has now been banned from keeping dogs.

Richard Hanratty, 29, did not even bother to get out of his car as he set his Lurcher dog on hares in a field near Hopewell Farm in Tarland, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

The father-of-one was caught after a woman driving behind him along the unclassified road realised what was happening and reported the matter to police.

And now, despite no longer having the animal in question and instead having another dog described as a “family pet”, Hanratty has been banned from keeping dogs and handed a hefty fine.

Fiscal depute Ryan Diamond said the incident happened on agricultural land near Hopewell Farm around 5pm on March 27 2021.

Jail if fine not paid

He said a witness was driving along behind a red Subaru when she spotted a Lurcher or Whippet-type dog “which she suspected was involved in hare coursing as she had seen hares in the field previously”.

The red vehicle then did a U-turn and came to a stop while she observed the dog “chasing a hare across the road”.

Hanratty then drove off after the dog.

Hanratty, of Cardens Knowe, Bridge of Don, pled guilty to deliberately hunting a wild animal with a dog.

Defence agent Mike Monro said: “He doesn’t leave the car and lets the dog do all the work.

“It’s a rather lazy way of coursing.”

Sheriff Mungo Bovey, confirming the position, asked: “He’s accepting he set his dog on a hare and watched it from a car?”

Mr Monro replied: “Yes. A lazy way of doing it.”

The solicitor asked the court not to impose a ban on keeping animals, adding: “The accused and his partner and child have a young dog which is not for hare coursing.”

Mr Monro described the new dog as a “family pet” and said: “The dog in this charge has now got a new owner, if I can put it euphemistically like that.”

‘Clearly a more serious penalty is called for’

Sheriff Bovey retired to chambers to consider a Crown motion for a ban on keeping dogs.

When he returned he said: “He’s got a previous conviction for this in 2013.”

Mr Monro pointed out his client was “10 years younger” at the time and was in the company of “more mature” people.

Sheriff Bovey, addressing Hanratty, said: “Still at it 10 years later – clearly a more serious penalty is called for.”

He fined Hanratty £790 and banned him from keeping dogs for a year.

The sheriff also ordered that if Hanratty failed to pay the fine he would be jailed for 28 days.

Hare courser branded ‘lazy’ after he didn’t bother to get out of car as he set dog loose in field


2 Replies to “Hare courser branded ‘lazy’ after he didn’t bother to get out of car as he set dog loose in field”

  1. A LAZY WAY OF COURSING??????Lazy or not coursing is disgusting this evil bastards should have been locked as he has been convicted before and the so called pet also taken off him.

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