Two men have been fined after pleading guilty to poaching in Ryedale.
Andrew Dowse, 53, of Carlin How, and Steven Raymond Jones, 52, of Redcar, admitted hunting a hare with a dog – an offence under the Hunting Act 2004 – at Spaunton in Kirkbymoorside on March 11.
They now face a total court bill of more than £800.
Reports were made to North Yorkshire Police of suspected poaching in the area at about 1.15pm on that day and by 2pm, a PCSO from Ryedale Neighbourhood Policing Team had found a suspicious vehicle and a number of witnesses. A short time later, Dowse and Jones were seen returning to the vehicle with two dogs. They were stopped and spoken to by an officer from the Rural Taskforce, and their vehicle, a blue Mitsubishi ASX, seized.
Both pleaded guilty when they appeared at Scarborough Magistrates Court where Dowse was fined £50 and ordered to pay costs of £310 and a victim surcharge of £30. Jones was fined £110 and ordered to pay costs of £310 and a victim surcharge of £30.
PC Mark Atkinson, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Dealing with poaching is one of the top priorities of the Rural Taskforce, and anyone participating in this illegal activity can expect to be dealt with by North Yorkshire Police robustly.
“If you are planning to come to North Yorkshire with the aim of poaching or committing rural crime, this case should send a clear message – you will be seen, stopped and brought before a court.”