A man who was photographed using a dog to hunt and kill hares in the High Peak has been fined £1,500.
The trail of Dean Sheratt, from Wesion Coyney in Stoke-on-Trent took place at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, July 17.
Distressing Image below
Back in January Sheratt and two others were up on Bleaklow in the High Peak with their lurchers. They were intermittently releasing their dogs to chase the mountain hares and a number were caught and killed. As Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004 states, it is an offence to hunt a wild mammal with a dog.
A spokesman for the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team said: “Fortunately for everyone but them a photography workshop was taking place up there and some of the finest spontaneous photographic evidence presented in a court of law was at our disposal.”
After publishing some of the pictures on Facebook , various names were put forward to the police and the Sherratt enquiry proved positive and eventually led to him being charged.
The Derbyshire Rural Crime Team said: “Despite doing his best throughout the interview and the subsequent trial to claim that he just happened to be up there walking his dog when he bumped into two other men just doing the same and that he never let his dog off its lead, the magistrates somehow didn’t quite believe him and had little hesitation in handing him a £1500 fine, ordering him to pay £620 prosecution costs and a £150 surcharge.
“In addition to that he has 14 days in which to provide the police with the whereabouts of the dog which he claims he no longer owns.
“The whole case has been very interesting. The witnesses had their reservations about attending court to give their evidence at the trial but they stood there, did their civic duty and had the satisfaction seeing the result.
“The trial report is complimentary of their evidence and I’m sure everyone who has the best interests of our wildlife at heart would like to thank them for their excellent work.”
The two co-offenders were not identified, but the police would like anyone who recognises the men not wearing the hat to contact Derbyshire Constabulary via email on firstname.lastname@example.org