Skibo Estate results

Dean Barr, a gamekeeper (and reported elsewhere as being the sporting manager) on the Skibo Castle Estate, has been convicted of having enough illegal poison “to wipe out the entire Scottish golden eagle and red kite populations several times over”. Barr, 44, of East Lodge, Clashmore, Dornoch, admitted possessing 10kg of the banned pesticide Carbofuran. He admitted carrying the poison from his previous job as head gamekeeper on the Raeshaw Estate to Skibo Castle Estate in 2008, because he had ‘not known how to safely dispose of it’.

The Carbofuran haul was discovered in a locked store on the Skibo Castle Estate, for which Barr had the keys. According to the Northern Times and Northern Constabulary, the poison was discovered within premises operated and solely accessed by Barr on Skibo Estate land.

Today he was fined £3,300 “to mark the court’s disapproval”. This was apparently reduced from a £5,000 fine for his early plea.

Despite this conviction, the Crown accepted he had ‘no part’ in the deaths of two poisoned golden eagles and a sparrowhawk (killed with Carbofuran) found on the estate in May 2010 (along with a dead buzzard and a third poisoned golden eagle killed by Aldicarb).

Barr’s defence lawyer said Barr was well regarded personally and professionally by his current and previous employers. “If it was thought that he was involved in the use of this material, they would not be so supportive”.

This is not the last we will write on this case.

The Scotsman news story

BBC news story

STV news story

9 thoughts on “Skibo Estate results”

  1. This case raises a number of questions.
    Why the Crown accepted that he played no part in the poisoning of the two golden eagles and a sparrowhawk given that the same poison was used?
    Will the Chief Constable of Northern Constabulary remove his Firearms Certificate and Shotgun Certificate as having been convicted of a wildlife crime he is not a “fit and proper” person to hold these?
    Is he a member of the SGA and, if so, will the SGA condemn his actions and terminate his membership?

  2. Will Lothian and Borders Police/Crown Office now re-open the Raeshaw case?….Barr/Raeshaw Estate will have been in possession of the carbofuran at the time of that inquiry, which as the press at the time pointed out involved carbofuran poisoning of raptors, several of which were recovered during the police/SEERAD/RSPB search.

    I wonder what he said to the police at the time?

  3. Why did Barr not have to answer for these dead raptors? If some plea bargain was made why? I doubt that Barr’s shotgun/firearms certificate will be affected or his membership of SGA if he is indeed a member or his ability to use the general licence as this will not be classed as a “wildlife crime” Although how the chief constable could consider a person who stockpiles illegal deadly poison a suitably responsible person to hold such a certificate is beyond my comprehension.

  4. Is His lawyer the same one used by SGA?

    10 kg’s of carbofuran, not exactly a small ammount, xxxxxxx xx xxxx xx x xxxxxx [Editor’s note: removed as potentially libellous]


    As of last week myself and 2 other young keepers have quit our memberships of the SGA, I’m appalled with all of this , added to last weeks tv programme, I want nothing to do with them. I’m surprised SGA isn’t blaming RSPB for planting all of this

  5. If some one was caught in possession of this amount of heroin or other contraband, they might be suspected of being a dealer. Just sayin.Not that I’m suggesting he is or was. I believe his story that he stashed it in a locked building for two years and never uesed it. Presume the police found two years worth of dust on it.

    1. I was in Fload Bay this January 2016 and saw the magnificent Golden Eagle several times. The first time she came past only 20 feet away, just gliding along the edge of the foreshore. There was also a Barn Owl flitting about and 2 Red Kites over the Dornoch Firth. Hope they are still alive next time I visit!!! Disgraceful behaviour towards our beautiful birds.

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