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Gamekeeper guilty of buzzard death

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By Fiona Reid
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Gamekeeper guilty of buzzard death

A GAMEKEEPER from the region has been fined £2000 in court after being found guilty of killing a bird of prey.

William Dick, 25, of Kirkmahoe, was this week convicted of killing and having in his possession a buzzard on the Newlands Estate, Kirkmahoe in April 2014.
And he was found to have thrown stones and stamped on it before wrapping it in a coat to take away from the field.
Dumfries Sheriff Court heard how two walkers came across Dick with a large bird at his feet. The bird was hopping around in what was described as an unnatural manner. Dick was then seen throwing large rocks from above his head down at the bird and repeatedly stamping on it. They saw him placing a bundle wrapped in his jacket into his car, a dark grey coloured 4×4 pick-up truck, before driving off.
When they approached the place where the attack had taken place they found a number of feathers lying nearby but no bird.
One of the witnesses described the incident as sickeningly violent.
They contacted the Scottish SPCA, who in turn contacted Police Scotland and both groups launched an investigation.
Dick lodged an alibi defence that he had been in attendance at a training course over 100 miles away and would have been on his way home at the time of the offence.
However, he was found guilty in court.
The conviction has been welcomed by Helen Nisbet, of the Serious and Organised Crime Division. She said: “Birds of prey are given strict protection by our law. We take people breaking our wildlife laws very seriously. This conviction highlights that message.
“The Crown will continue to prosecute such cases where appropriate to ensure that offenders are brought to justice.”

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