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.