NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Man fined for striking bat with pool cue in Aberdeen

Bruce Chisholm
Image caption Bruce Chisholm was fined at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for the offence

A teenager who struck a pipistrelle bat with a pool cue has been fined.

Bruce Chisholm, 19, admitted deliberately or recklessly injuring or killing the bat while he was playing pool in a British Legion building in Aberdeen.

Chisholm was fined £160 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for the offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act .

The court heard offshore worker Chisholm had panicked and feared he might catch rabies.

The incident happened at the Old Machar British Legion branch in July last year.

A bat was found in the women's toilets and was taken into the main drinking area on a dustpan by the barman.

The bat, which was lying still, was brought to the attention of Chisholm.

He touched it, causing it to spring up and start flying in circles around the pool table.

Defence lawyer Gail Galloway said: "His first thoughts were bats - rabies.

"It can be alarming if one is in the flight path as Mr Chisholm was.

"The bat flew into his pool cue when he was waving his arms around."

'Unusual circumstances'

Ms Galloway said her client had not meant to harm the bat.

The animal was believed to have been stunned after being hit and was taken outside.

Chisholm later returned to check on the animal but it had disappeared.

Image caption Pipistrelle bats are among those protected by legislation

Ms Galloway added: "It may well have been that the bat was temporarily stunned and flew off.

"These are very unusual circumstances."

Ms Galloway suggested an absolute discharge could be a possible option.

Sheriff Malcolm Garden said he did not think that was an appropriate option given the protection that the species have.

He said: "These types of laws are made to make the life better for these kind of animals.

"This was not a deliberate act - a reckless act.

"I take into account that you had been drinking and that may have been a factor in your actions."

Scottish SPCA chief supt Mike Flynn said: "Bats are very fragile creatures and being struck with a pool cue would have caused it a great deal of pain, suffering and distress.

"In our opinion, this was a deliberate and shameful act of violence against a defenceless animal.

"As a result of our investigation, Chisholm now has a criminal record for this mindless offence."

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