Four catapult-wielding hare coursers handed hefty fines and banned from county

PUBLISHED: 15:33 12 November 2020 | UPDATED: 08:59 13 November 2020

Four hare coursers found armed with a catapult in a field near Putney Hill Road near Ely have appeared in court. Picture: Cambs Cops

Four hare coursers found armed with a catapult in a field near Putney Hill Road near Ely have appeared in court. Picture: Cambs Cops

Archant

A group of catapult-wielding hare coursers who were caught red handed by police have each received hefty fines and a ban from Cambridgeshire.

Fredrick Stevens, 54, John Giles, 33, Roddy Teelan, 30, and Samuel Haylett, 31, were stopped by officers after being spotted in a field near Ely.

The men were walking lurcher dogs near Putney Hill Road in Prickwillow on November 29 when police were called to the area.

Cambridgeshire Police’s Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) put out a containment on the area minutes later, giving the men no choice but to hand themselves in.

A court heard how Mr Stevens was the first to be interviewed; he reportedly became hostile after he was told his phone was going to be seized.

He threw it on the floor, stamping on it before throwing it into a puddle.

When Giles was spoken to, he handed over a catapult and, after being searched, officers found ten large steel hex nuts in his jacket pocket.

As officers were searching Teelan he threw a phone which he had hidden in the waistband of his trousers in an attempt to break it.

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All four men were handed a 48-hour dispersal order, forbidding them from coming back to Cambridgeshire and were subsequently charged with hare coursing offences.

On Tuesday, November 10 at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court, Teelan, of Guildford Road, Aldershot, was fined £960 and ordered to pay £85 in costs after admitting obstructing a constable in the execution of their duty and daytime trespassing in pursuit of game.

At the same court Haylett, of Barnes Road, Camberley, was fined £726 and ordered to pay £85 in costs after admitting trespassing in pursuit of game.

On June 10 at Guildford Magistrates’ Court Giles, of Winchester Road, Aldershot, was fined £290, ordered to pay £85 in costs and handed a community order after pleading possessing an offensive weapon and daytime trespassing in pursuit of game. On March 13 at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court Stevens, of Winchester Road, Aldershot, was fined £1,320 and ordered to pay £200 in costs after admitting daytime trespassing in pursuit of game and obstructing a constable in the execution of their duty.

DC Tom Nuttall, of the RCAT, said: “Information from the public, as this case shows, is vital in helping us tackle rural crime.

“Our message is simple – don’t come coursing in Cambridgeshire.

“Driving hare coursing out the county is a priority for my team and we will continue to use all of our powers to bring coursers to justice.”

Anyone who sees hare coursing taking place is asked to contact police immediately on 999 and provide officers with a description of the people involved, any registration numbers and vehicle descriptions and the location and direction of travel.

“It is important people don’t confront hare coursers or put themselves at risk,” say police.

If you have information about hare coursing and it’s not currently happening, or have been a victim of the crime, call 101 or report online at www.cambs.police.uk/report


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