Moy Estate results

Today at Inverness Sheriff Court, gamekeeper James Roderick Rolfe, 20, was convicted of being in possession of a dead red kite which was found in his vehicle during a police raid on the Moy Estate in June last year. Rolfe said he had found the kite caught in a trap set for stoats. It had not been poisoned. Rolfe was fined £1,500 for possession of the dead bird.

The images here show the dead kite in the back of his vehicle. No explanation has been given to account for the obvious injury this bird suffered to its head area. According to the Inverness Courier, Rolfe claimed the bird was already dead when he found it.

Another gamekeeper working on Moy Estate was accused of being in possession of 56 gull eggs. The court accepted his plea of not guilty.

Northern Constabulary press statement

Inverness Courier news report

8 thoughts on “Moy Estate results”

  1. Any trap set to kill stoats [spring traps such as Springer or Fenn]must by law be safe from catching/killing birds….if the alleged trap which caught the kite was set for was set/used illegally…was that investigated?…or are we talking about the usual last minute uncorroborated mitigation?

  2. What sort of gamekeeper is a guy who leaves a presumably baited and set trap out in the open where any flying bird or animal can land or stand on it, and that includes somebody’s pet dog or cat. Any keeper worth is salt knows the most effective way to trap Stoats and Weasels etc is by a covered trap, such as a tunnel trap where only the targeted species is likely to be caught in it.


  3. Time for some honest facts. In my opinion Rolfe was not trapping stoats when he set spring traps hidden under moss in the open next to skinned rabbit carcasses. The leg injuries show that this kite was caught alive in a spring trap and dispatched by several blows to the head and wing (note the stick in the back of the landrover). A “set” such as this was allegedly found on the moor during the estate search, if so why wasn’t this revealed in court? But what about the live male Hen Harrier allegedly found caught in another “set” and released alive a few weeks earlier by a member of the public or the poisoned kite allegedly found stuffed in a drainage ditch on the same moor. And what about the four eagle rings allegedly in his possession? £1500 fine ….. where is the deterrent? I bet he’s having a laugh!

  4. It states on the Inverness Courier that Rolfe lost his job as well as the £1,500 fine, so at least he is hurt a bit more than in just his pocket. I wonder just how many Raptor killings are covered up or never find there way to the courts and when by some miracle they catch somebody the courts let them of with a paltry fine which will more than likely be paid by their employer. One of these days some Raptor persecutor will go to jail hopefully soon. I live in hope.

  5. I know this guy, and in my opinion I think he was hung out to dry, unfortunately the WANE bill came in too late for this case. A 20 year old doesn’t do all this on his own. Surely his line manager has some responsibility?????

    1. You’ll be amazed at what a 20 year old can get up to on his own withoput any help from anyone else, xxxx xxxx xxxx xxx xxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xx xxx xxxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxx xx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx [Editor’s note: removed as potentially libellous]


  6. nirofo

    I’m not defending him, but I think this is bigger than some trigger happy kid. James is certainly paying for it, no one else is. He will not work in the keepering world again.

  7. I think that young Rolfe will be fine for a gamekeepers job in the future. Some Estate Owners will be happy to employ him once some time has elapsed.

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