A man has avoided jail after he was convicted for killing 15 birds, including five red kites, in Dumfries and Galloway - believed to be the first conviction in which multiple birds of prey have been killed with poison in Scotland.
Barry Nicolle, 67, was sentenced at Dumfries Sheriff Court on Friday 19 May.
He was sentenced to completing 216 hours of community service to be carried out within 12 months.
Barry Nicolle previously admitted numerous charges on Wednesday 5 April.
The charges related to the use of poison resulting in the death of 15 birds. The birds were recovered within a mile radius of Barry Nicolle's home and some just a few hundred yards from his property.
The banned substances Barry Nicolle used were Aldicarb and Bendiocarb.
Speaking after the sentencing, Fiona Caldwell, who leads on wildlife and environmental crime for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said: “Barry Nicolle’s actions led to the illegal killing of multiple Red Kite’s and Rooks.
“The laying of bait laced with poisons was shockingly irresponsible and Nicolle has shown an utter disregard for the wildlife laws which serve to protect these species.
“I would like to thank Police Scotland, RSPB Scotland, the Scottish SPCA, the SRUC Veterinary Investigation Centre and SASA for their part in investigating and gathering evidence of these repugnant offences.
“The law protects wild birds and those who seek to poison them or possess stocks of illegal poison can be assured that the Procurator Fiscal will continue to prosecute such cases and ensure that offenders face the consequences of their actions.”
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...