More and more news reports are emerging following the conviction yesterday of Tom McKellar of Auch Estate for possession of Carbofuran.
Some of these reports have mentioned the poisoned golden eagle that led to the discovery of the illegal stash of banned poison at McKellar’s house, and some of them haven’t. One recent report, published today in the Daily Record (here) does mention the golden eagle. It also includes a comment from McKellar’s defence lawyer, David McKie (sound familiar??) who is reported to have said that McKellar was pleading guilty to possessing the poison but not to killing an eagle.
It is looking more and more likely that McKellar was not charged with poisoning this eagle, which perhaps explains why the COPFS press release yesterday (here) didn’t even hint at the presence of a Carbofuran-poisoned eagle found in the locality. Does anyone else find this omission strange, especially when the press release contained quotes said to be from specialist wildlife crime prosecutor, Kate Fleming:
“The possession of Carbofuran is illegal. It’s use as a poison can lead to the indiscriminate poisoning of wildlife…”
Er, poisoned golden eagle found nearby, poisoned by Carbofuran. Illegal stash of Carbofuran found at McKellar’s place, some of it reportedly found inside a gamebag in his home porch (RSPB news here), and an admission (according to the BBC – here) that he’d laid out poisoned baits. No connection and not worth commenting on then, Kate? We’ll be writing more on the role of COPFS in this case a bit later on.
Also included in the Daily Record article was the following sentence:
‘Mr McKie handed a sheaf of glowing testimonials on his client’s character to Sheriff Douglas Small, who conceded they were “brilliant”‘.
However, he also said the offence [of possession] was “a serious matter” and he had to consider all options before sentencing.