Here we go….
Tom McKellar, previously reported as being a gamekeeper (see link below for his earlier conviction for possession of illegal guns) but currently reported as being a farmer, has today pleaded guilty at Oban Sheriff Court to being in possession of the illegal pesticide Carbofuran.
This poison stash was discovered during a multi-agency raid on McKellar’s house in June 2009, where investigators found three separate containers of Carbofuran as well as traces of it in a syringe.
McKellar reportedly admitted during a police interview that he had, “in the past”, placed the poison out on laced meat to kill foxes.
Sentencing was deferred until 29 May 2012 for background reports.
McKellar had previously been charged for the illegal possession of two handguns, kept in his attic, that came to the attention of the police during the raid. On conviction, instead of receiving the mandatory five year jail sentence, he was given just 300 hours of community service (see here).
What has not been mentioned in the press (so far), is that McKellar’s house was raided after the discovery of a poisoned golden eagle, reportedly found with the body of a fox and a sheep carcass at Glen Orchy in June 2009 (see here and here). Toxicology tests reportedly detected Carbofuran on all three animals, although interestingly, only the golden eagle results appear in the official SASA results table; the sheep and the fox results are only mentioned in the RSPB’s 2009 report.
Does today’s reporting mean that McKellar, or anyone else, has not been charged with poisoning the golden eagle?
Rest assured, this is not the last we will be writing about this case…
COPFS press release here
STV article here
3 thoughts on “Big, big day in court (part 5): Glen Orchy golden eagle”
It seems Gamekeepers, Farmers, Landowners etc can sprinkle a banned poison around the countryside without any fear of being prosecuted. What would happen if a human being died through accidentally ingesting this substance. There would be a great wringing of hands, and the powers that be would be very busy slamming shut all the doors leading to them. Instead they should be throwing the book at anybody, no matter who, caught with any banned poison and making it perfectly clear what will happen to them when caught. I hope I am wrong, but think it’s only a matter of time before some unfortunate person dies through this practice of leaving poisoned bait throughout the countryside.
BBC Scotland is now reporting the link between the discovery of the golden eagle and the carbofuran. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-17760078
If this man or criminal as we should now call him has such exemplary character references perhaps he will receive an exemplary sentence but I’ll not be holding my breath.