Hare courser risks jail if found with any of four dogs

William Holmes (above) was caught red handed by the rural crime action team.  

Sergeant Tom Nuttall said: 'William Holmes (above) was caught red handed by the rural crime action team. His actions blight the rural communities' - Credit: Cambs Cops

A hare courser risks jail if caught in the next four years on private land and in possession of one of four specific dogs.  

Police successfully obtained a criminal behaviour order (CB0) against him.  

It was issued by Peterborough magistrates last Thursday against William Holmes, 28. 

He had previously pleaded guilty to daytime trespass in pursuit of game.  

Magistrates also ordered Holmes to pay a £120 fine and £350 compensation towards the cost of kennelling.

Conditions attached to the order include a ban on being on any private farm land, or yards from it, in any vehicle or in possession of any of four dog types. 

These were listed as Saluki, Lurcher, Greyhound and Whippet or cross breeds of these dogs. 

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Only if he has the land owner's permission in writing and obtained in advance will this not be an offence. 

Sergeant Tom Nuttall said: “Holmes was caught red handed by the rural crime action team.  

“His actions blight the rural communities of Cambridgeshire. 

“The CBO will prevent further offending and lead to a higher penalty if breached.” 

On summary conviction of a further offence, he could be jailed for up to six months or face an unlimited fine. 

Magistrates were told that Holmes, of Paston Ridings, was handed a community protection warning October 3 last year. 

He had been reported by a member of the public for hare coursing on land near Sandpit Road in Thorney. 

Police also seized his dog and mobile phone.  

A police spokesman said on his phone they found photos, videos and messages referring to coursing, lamping and poaching which helped to secure his charge. 

The CBO is available on conviction for any criminal offence in any criminal court.  

The order is aimed at tackling the most serious and persistent offenders where their behaviour has brought them before a criminal court. 

The CBO replaced the anti-social behaviour Order (ASBO). 

It is a criminal offence if an offender fails to comply, without reasonable excuse, with the prohibitions and / or requirements in the CBO. 

A CBO, as in this instance, can prohibit an offender from doing anything described in the order (which might include a condition preventing specific acts which cause harassment, alarm or distress).