Update on case against 3 Morvich Estate gamekeepers

00143855Last November we blogged about three Scottish gamekeepers facing charges of alleged wildlife crime on Morvich Estate, Sutherland; charges which they all denied (see here).

There was an interim diet heard today at Dornoch Sheriff Court in the case against Mathew Ian Johnston (20) of Morvich House, Morvich Estate, Rogart, Jamie Robert Neal (37) of The Bothy, Morvich Estate, Rogart and William Robert Docharty (57) of 10 Elizabeth Court, Dornoch.

Previously, a trial date had been set for 19th March. This has now changed. There will be a further diet (a procedural hearing where a number of things are checked) on 13th May, and based on the outcome of that hearing, the trial will begin on 9th July 2013.

7 thoughts on “Update on case against 3 Morvich Estate gamekeepers”

  1. Our justice system does indeed move slowly! If I was due to appear in court, I would want it over and done with as quickly as possible.

      1. If they are innocent, I too hope that they are found not guilty as no one, I am sure, want to see innocent men convicted. If however they are guilty then I hope that the punishment fits the crime, and is not just a slap on the wrist!

        The Crow Man (or is it The Grouseman) under a new name?, you sound like you want a no guilty verdict whatever the truth of the case.

  2. Get real….Crow man, Grouse man whoever….

    Stop hiding behind silly names…be man enough to stand up for what you believe in…if you do of course, assuming you are not just one of the many that enjoy sitting in the sidelines stirring….Get a life and a real name whilst you are at it.

    How many excuses can you find for the poor unfortunate keepers all going way beyond only doing their job…
    the law means nothing to most of these guys who will go on persecuting protected wildlife because they can and do get their kicks out of killing.
    Most small communities here in Scotland know who they are and really despise these guys for what they are getting away with, but….get to the organ grinder…these are are the real problems today.

    A further point of general observation….SNH, can we please have as detailed list of those who have a license to kill ravens as promised by December as I remember…this would explain who kills what if other protected species were also listed??? Legally killing protected wildlife never seemed right to me, but I would like to see just who is getting away with what….41 were granted here in Argyll in the past two years…needless to say the raven has somewhat declined in the past year or two…wonder why?

    Possibly I have missed the publication of such a list, but I suspect not…however I have not forgotten the last words of SNH a list would be published in December.

    The only way to progress from this intolerable legal merry go round of the wasting of vast amounts of public money spent on jumped up bogus reasons and excuses is to tell it as it and be straight about the whole nasty business…lets try to save everything still wild in Scotland today, then you can dump all your traps, illegal poisons, snares and guns…and become half human in the process and APPRECIATE WHAT LITTLE WE HAVE LEFT….Its a national disgrace AND YOUR DISGRACE here in Scotland. We all know who is responsible for this carnage on a daily basis….kill what you must for your oh so profitable so called sport, pheasants, red legged partridge etc….but sorry, all grouse species are still a wild creature and should be fully protected by law in most areas and so should all things wild already protected, who cares about the odd pheasant taken by any predator that was resident in Scotland long before pheasants and making money were contemplated… dream on,
    some chance I hear most keepers saying…well look at Mull making making millions enjoying wildlife without your expert attentions looking after the countryside. Can your estate say the same????
    You really have a lot to learn in that direction I’m afraid….

    [Ed: last paragraph deleted. Best not to discuss this pending trial any further. Once the verdict is in then we’ll discuss at length!].

    1. Well for a start there is no connection between me and crow man why would I use a different sudaname when I have no problem voicing my beliefs and opinions! Secondly I am perfectly entitled to not use my full name on here as I believe it could effect my position and career. I certainly do not need to ‘man up’ if I did I wouldn’t be on here defending my beliefs it’s not like I have support of ‘friends’ on here. Oh and if I was just here to be deliberately controversial I would be a lot more so.

      U come on here and bombard the thread with how keepers are the bane of all evil when we sit in a crumbling country with many social problems and you berate good men for occasionally going to far to defend their livelihood! It is the likes of you sir that are the national disgrace!

      As for your raven licence paragraph we are always told not to look at populations in a small area it is about national statistics and ravens have done nothing but increase in numbers over the last 15-20 years. I am not talking either about breeding pairs but the number of non territorial, non breeders that congregate in large groups. If you feel there is a shortage in Argyll perhaps this is more down to the removal of fallen stock from the hills, the burying of offal when deer culling and a general lack of a sustainable food suplply in the form of eggs and chicks?

      1. The congregation of large numbers of Ravens at certain times of the year, especially in the Autumn is a well known phenomenom and is nothing new.

        I have to agree with you regarding the removal of fallen stock from the hills, the burying of offal when deer culling and a general lack of a sustainable food supply in the form of eggs and chicks will obviously have an effect on the hunting priorities of most predators. There is a reason that there are less eggs and chicks available, especially on the moorlands, excessive monocultural farming of the moors for one species above all others, namely Red Grouse has a tendency to change the preferred habitat of many other species which do not rely on Heather alone. Anyone who walks the hills regularly will know that Golden Plover, Curlew, Snipe, Dunlin, Skylark and Meadow Pipits have almost disappeared and you can walk for miles without seeing a single bird. Now that the majority of sheep have been removed from the hill and the burying of offal after gralloching the deer there is very little carrion left for the Raptors to find which means they will have to look elsewhere. However, just because the hunting priorities of Raptors change with the availablity of food doesn’t mean that they should be illegally killed to satisfy the selfish whims and bag totals of the shooting estates.

      2. Grouseman, You have a very valid point here, but the likes of the RSPB, SNH, SSPCA & of course not forgetting the One Kind Brigade they wont accept your comment, they are the bane of all evil not the Gamekeepers, bird of prey persecution MUST CONTINUE because pheasants, grouse and partridges will never survive because of the birds of prey killing them. Has anybody from the RSPB, SNH, SSPCA & the One Kind Brigade ever witnessed the slaughter of five hundred and seventy pheasant poults killed in a pen by a gosshawk during the day ? well I have. and the damage caused by hen harriers on a grouse moor ? and foxes ripping the eyes and tongues out of new born lambs ? They think its cruel using snares to kill foxes, they are talking crap.
        p.s. Gin traps are the boys for the foxes, not like snares as sometimes they break and the fox goes free again .

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