Police Crush Hare Coursers Car
PUBLISHED: 16:37 18 February 2011 | UPDATED: 16:37 18 February 2011
"We take this type of crime very seriously and this should send out a strong message that anyone who comes to Cambridgeshire to hare course is in danger of having their car seized and subsequently crushed."
MAGISTRATES have imposed tough penalties on two hare coursers caught operating in Pymoor - ordering the destruction of a £700 van, fining them hundreds of pounds, and banning them both from driving.
And presiding magistrate at Ely courthouse told the offenders: “Most people in Cambridgeshire are fed with such offences and the likes of you guys.
“We had a very successful operation in the county that virtually snuffed this out, but it appears to be back.”
The hare coursers were found on land at Oxlode Farm on November 14 last year, said prosecutor Laura Mardell.
A farm worker had seen a van on a private farm track; one man was driving, while another was hanging out of the front passenger window.
“A third male was in the middle of the field 200 yards from the farm worker,” said Miss Mardell. “He had a lurcher type dog running across the field, chasing a hare.
“The dog and hare ran across in front of his tractor and went into the next field. The male walked down the track towards the van, conditions were very muddy. All three men got into the van and drove at speed up the track.
“Within 10 minutes, police stopped the van in Little Downham; a search of the van revealed slip leads and three lurcher type dogs.”
The men had mud on their clothing and footwear, and the van was seized.
Albert Eastwood, 37, of Redhill, Surrey; and William Scamp, 32, of Orpington, Kent, both admitted daytime trespass in pursuit of game.
Eastwood told the court: ”I am new to the sport and did not think it was a serious as this; I do not go hare coursing any more, I have got rid of my dogs.”
Scamp said: “It was my vehicle, I would like it back.”
Eastwood was fined £300 and banned from driving for three months; Scamp was fined £650 and banned for 12 months. both must pay £70 costs and a £15 surcharge.
Police have confirmed that the car seized from the hare coursers has now been crushed.
Officers from the Rural Community Action Team (RCAT) have held the Vauxhall Astra since catching the defendants at Six Mile Bottom on August 20.
They all pleaded guilty to illegal hare-coursing.
PC Robin Smith said: “These three men had come up to the county on August 20 to hare course on private land.
“We take this type of crime very seriously and this should send out a strong message that anyone who comes to Cambridgeshire to hare course is in danger of having their car seized and subsequently crushed.”
Cambridgeshire police has seized 15 vehicles so far this season.