So, three years and three months later, the infamous Glen Orchy case has concluded. Tom McKellar, previously described as a gamekeeper but curiously now described as a farmer, has been fined £1,200 for possessing the banned pesticide, Carbofuran.
The Crown Office press release (here) doesn’t mention anything of the poisoned golden eagle that was found in Glen Orchy and prompted the search of McKellar’s house, which led to the discovery of the Carbofuran. Although it does mention how he was previously given a 300-hour community service order for the possession of illegal handguns (instead of the mandatory five-year prison sentence), also found during the search of his house.
Of course, McKellar wasn’t charged with laying poisoned baits (even though he reportedly admitted to doing so during an interview), and nor was he charged with poisoning that golden eagle, because even though he had this rare, banned poison in his house, and lived just down the road from where the dead eagle had been found, and he’d previously admitted to laying out poisoned baits, there apparently wasn’t enough evidence to link him to the poisoned eagle.
But this story doesn’t end there. There are other things that went on (or more to the point, didn’t go on) in this investigation and we’ll be discussing those in due course, including the failure to charge a second person….
Meanwhile, we’ll add this poisoned golden eagle to the growing list of illegally-killed eagles for which nobody has ever been (nor will be) prosecuted. Justice?
RSPB press statement here
UPDATE 11 Sept 2012: Glen Orchy, a hollow victory (here)
Previous blogs on this case here, here, here, here, here,here here, here
6 thoughts on “Glen Orchy case concludes: call this justice?”
Call this justice? Most definatly not!
I am actually amazed this case got so far as fining him. They way it was progressing collapse looked a likely outcome.
All told, a most unsatisfactory state of affairs.
Just the fact he was in possesion of two hand guns without special permit , meant he should now be serving a long sentence.
The greatest concern to me in this case is the level of corruption both within the police and the legal system, and just what is the purpose of the law? totally unacceptable outcome.
It all points to another cover up. If Joe Blogs common man had done this especially the 2 hand guns he would now be on holiday care of Her Majesty. I think Mr McKellar or his boss must have friends in high places or plenty money or both. I think the whole legal system regarding Wildlife Crime stinks.
What was the story with the handguns? Presumably through the police investigation and court case it came out that he was a farmer and not a gamekeeper as was first suggested in the media. That area, Glen Orchy, is certainly not known for its game shooting.
Would love to know more about this man’s background..what a murky world these people inhabit..living up isolated tracks in houses filled with illegal guns and banned deadly poisons. I hope his neighbours feel safe at nights?
A couple of points which may not be popular with all blog readers though..£1200 is a pretty hefty fine in any scottish sheriff court..most summary crimes dont attract anything like that [yes, I know he could have been fined many thousands but courts can no longer fine people above their financial means..and…the one direct crime of poisoning the eagle , like any other crime, has to be linked directly to an individual. Very frustrating yes..but thats the nature of a crime which takes place out of sight in a remote area.
As well as making sure that such crimes are followed up professionally and independently we should all be making sure that such crimes are socially unacceptable to the whole of society…including the shooting/farming community..but everything points to fact that many people in the latter group still think the worst thing about raptor persecution is getting caught.