Two poachers banned from owning dogs in legal first
Two men have banned from owning dogs for three years under new legal powers used to crack down on poachers.
David Hilden, 39, and Tyron Young, 35, were stopped by rural police officers as they walked across crop fields with four dogs on 15 October last year.
Two of the dogs at Peacock Hill, near Saffron Walden, Essex, were on slip leads.
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There were no public footpaths in the area and the landowner had not given the men permission to be on the land.
When questioned by officers at the scene, Hilden, of Lathams Way, Croydon, south London, admitted he had gone on to the land to pursue rabbits. Young, of Bolton Drive, Morden, south London, claimed he had been walking his dog.
Officers seized their vehicle and, following further enquiries, the men were summonsed to appear before Colchester magistrates to answer the charges.
Both admitted a charge of daytime trespass in pursuit of game and magistrates used new powers under Section 66 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 to ban them from owning or keeping a dog for three years.
Hilden was also fined £120 and ordered to pay court costs of £105 and a victim surcharge of £48, while Young was fined £200 and ordered to pay £105 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.