Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Men sentenced for hare coursing in East Lothian

Hare coursing

Three men have sentenced for hare coursing crimes in East Lothian.

Anthony Bassford, 32, Jason Ellis, 27, and John Wilson, 23, were charged under wildlife protection laws in Gifford on 6 April.

Bassford, and Ellis. both from Stoke-on-Trent, and Wilson, from Bedlington, Northumberland, were found guilty at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on 14 July.

Ellis was fined £300 while Wilson received a 70-hour community payback order.

On Monday, Bassford was disqualified from keeping dogs for a period of time and fined. The ban period and size of fine will be determined at a later date.

PC Jamie Hood, of Police Scotland, said: "This is a cruel activity which sees hares pursued and killed under the guise of 'sport'.

"It is unwelcome in our communities, especially as these criminals also tend to damage the land, worry livestock and intimidate residents.

"I would urge rural residents to continue being vigilant and reporting suspicious behaviour to us, so we can bring perpetrators of this barbaric act before the courts."

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