Man fined nearly £20k after being caught in Lincolnshire using dogs to kills hares

Fred Holmes has been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years Credit: Lincolnshire Police/PA

A 60-year-old man who admitted using his dogs to hunt and kill hares in Lincolnshire has been fined more than £18,500.

Fred Holmes was caught on private land on Low Road in Crowland and arrested by officers on 13 November, following reports of hare coursing.

His three dogs were seized.

Lincolnshire police found that Holmes was also suspected of hunting hares in Warmington, Northamptonshire, in October last year.

Both forces launched a joint operation and Holmes, of Thorney Road, Eye, Peterborough, was charged with two counts of trespass in pursuit of game, and two counts of being equipped to trespass in pursuit of hares.

Despite initially denying the Northamptonshire offences at Boston Magistrates Court, he pleaded guilty to all four counts.

His three lurcher type dogs, his Citroen car and a thermal imaging device thought to be used to help him locate the hares, were all seized.

Holmes was also ordered to pay £16,783.50 for the kennel costs of keeping the three dogs since their seizure, as well as fines for the two trespass offences and two victim surcharges, making a total of £18,557.50.

He was also banned from keeping dogs for 10 years, and made subject to a three-year criminal behaviour order which prevents him from entering any private land in Lincolnshire.

Sgt Debbie Nunn, of Lincolnshire Police, said: "This is a fantastic result and credit goes to all of those involved.

"We hope this sends a strong message that we will take robust action to prevent and disrupt those involved in rural crime, which is often linked to other forms of criminality."

PC Chloe Gillies, of the Rural Crime Team at Northamptonshire Police, said: "The actions of Fred Holmes in allowing his dogs to chase and kill hares were cruel and illegal.

"He deliberately trespassed onto private land to break the law, causing fear and concern to the landowners, and then lied repeatedly to the police about what he was doing."

Hare coursing is a bloodsport where dogs are used to hunt down and kill hares. It is illegal in the UK under the Hunting Act 2004.

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