Four in court at Wisbech today accused of illegally taking part in hare coursing

PUBLISHED: 16:17 02 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:33 02 June 2010

A LURCHER dog used for illegal hare coursing at Friday Bridge was so exhausted that it had to be carried off a field, magistrates heard A police helicopter was scrambled to deal with the poachers – and today four men from Kent appeared at Wisbech courtho

A LURCHER dog used for illegal hare coursing at Friday Bridge was so exhausted that it had to be carried off a field, magistrates heard

A police helicopter was scrambled to deal with the poachers - and today four men from Kent appeared at Wisbech courthouse and admitted trespassing in pursuit of game.

Each of the men was fined £300, and the driver of the car that brought them to the Fens was banned from driving for six months.

"Clearly the driver has driven some distance to take part in this illegal activity," said prosecutor John Nooijen.

A bird watcher had seen four men get out of a vehicle with three lurcher type dogs on the morning of November 4, said Mr Nooijen.

Three men walked diagonally across a field, 50 yards apart, while one man stayed at the vehicle with another dog. A dog was seen chasing a hare. The poachers appeared to be trying to flush something out.

Farmer Mark Riddington was notified about the hare coursing. He made his way to the area, and stopped a blue Subaru, carrying four men and four lurcher type dogs. He challenged the occupants, asking why they were hare coursing on his land.

He refused them permission to carry out hare coursing, and they left. The police helicopter followed the men, and they were stopped on the A1103 at Three Holes.

"This offence has been prevalent in this area," said Mr Nooijen. "In the past, damage has been caused to growing crops; this is a constant problem for farms and residents."

All four defendants, Paul Eastwood, 23, Lee Friend, 19, and William Scamp, 31, all of Orpington, and Charles Lee, 26, of Caterham, were also ordered to pay £35 costs and a £15 surcharge. Scamp was banned from driving for six months.


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