Case against gamekeeper George Mutch: part 4

scales of justiceCriminal proceedings against Scottish gamekeeper George Mutch continued today at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. His case was continued without plea for the 4th time.

His 5th court hearing will be on 16th December.

Mutch, of Kildrummy Estate in Aberdeenshire is understood to be facing six charges of alleged wildlife crime under Sections 1 & 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act. These sections relate to the protection of wild birds and prohibited methods of killing and taking wild birds.

For previous posts about this case see here, here and here.

5 thoughts on “Case against gamekeeper George Mutch: part 4”

  1. Does anyone know what date this has to be completed by before it runs out of time and gets thrown out. also who foots the bill, if this is the work of some clever barrister who keeps getting people off in this manner then how come it hasn,t been stopped by now. just a couple of points I,ve been pondering. still nothing ado abot mutch

  2. Merlin makes an interesting point, perhaps someone with legal training could enlighten us.
    How many continuations are allowed? On what basis are they granted?

    Surely someone in the Court Service is tasked with keeping track of time since the offence to ensure it does not “run out of time.” The question then is – If not why not?

    1. It could have something to do with the fact that the Scottish judicial system is as bent as a nine bob note.

    2. It’s a good question from Merlin.

      Our understanding, in relation to the alleged offences under discussion here, is based on Section 20, Part 2 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act:

      A case avoids becoming time-barred as long as COPFS brings proceedings within 6 months of being notified of the evidence (e.g. by a police report), and no longer than two years after the alleged offence(s) took place.

      Once proceedings have been initiated (by COPFS), the case can be continued in court for as long as necessary. The Sheriff may decide, at his/her discretion, that the continuations have gone on for long enough though.

      Long delays are not unusual – the case of the gamekeeper at Glen Orchy involved 18 separate court hearings! These delays are not just common in wildlife crime trials, they are common across the board in summary cases being heard in the Sheriff courts.

  3. it might also be interesting to know just how many times this has happened in the past, is it the same sheriffs and barristers, this is a corruption of the legal system if it is actually happening on a regular basis, to keep publicising these incidents is our best chance of getting someone of influence to look into them. As I,ve said before you can only brush so much shite under the carpet before the doors stop opening

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