Head gamekeeper convicted of storing 5 banned poisons: gets conditional discharge

sledmereDerek Sanderson, a recently-retired head gamekeeper for a shooting syndicate on the Sledmere Estate in Yorkshire, was yesterday found guilty of storing five banned poisons in his house and in an unlocked outbuilding.

Those poisons were Carbofuran, Aldicarb, Mevinphos, Strychnine and Alphachloralose.

His sentence? A conditional discharge and a £15 victim surcharge!!!!!!!

The court apparently accepted that there was no causal link between the possession of these poisons and a dead buzzard found on Sledmere Estate in 2012 – confirmed as having been poisoned with Aldicarb.

Bob Elliot, Head of RSPB Investigations, has written an excellent blog about this, frankly, unbelievable case, here.

What sort of deterrent value is such a pathetic sentence?

16 thoughts on “Head gamekeeper convicted of storing 5 banned poisons: gets conditional discharge”

  1. Well obviously he was using these chemicals to control the slugs in his veg patch!!! Makes you weep.

  2. Ffs :-( On 30 May 2014 10:11, “Raptor Persecution Scotland” wrote:

    > raptorpersecutionscotland posted: “Derek Sanderson, a recently-retired > head gamekeeper for a shooting syndicate on the Sledmere Estate in > Yorkshire, was yesterday found guilty of storing five banned poisons in his > house and in an unlocked outbuilding. Those poisons were Carbofuran, > Aldica”

  3. I’m quite sure that if Joe Bloggs, from Leeds, was in possession of considerable quantities of cannabis, cocaine, crystal meth, heroin and ecstasy, the result would have slightly different. Would the courts have decided that there was no link between this haul of illegal drugs and drug taking in the city? One would think not.

    1. Couldn’t agree more Marco. Many years ago a good friend of mine was jailed for three months because his dog relieved itself in a park in Burnley and he failed to clear it up!

      1. Aye, you couldnae make it up!

        A fair and just system? My arse!, as Jim Royle would put it.

  4. Since when has being in possession of a banned substance been a criminal offence for a gamekeeper, you don’t really expect the British justice system to waste it’s valuable time and resources on something as menial as this do you, after all wildlife protection laws are only made for the likes of you and me. Everyone knows that a gamekeeper, that stalwart custodian of the British countryside can’t possibly commit an illegal act against wildlife, can he ???

  5. How is it in this country that the regulations for transporting chemicals dangerous to human health are very strictly controlled and are never left unlocked where a untrained person or member of the public could get to them. Yet a Gamekeeper, who should know better, allows dangerous illegal substances to be left in unlocked in an outbuilding where anybody could get to it. I was employed in a company that transported chemicals and other goods all over the country via the roads network, the penalties of doing something wrong and endangering a member of the public are horrendous, and can involve drivers, managers right up to directors of the company in huge fines and even a term of imprisonment. Meanwhile a Gamekeeper gets a slap on the wrist, I just find this unbelievable that there can be such double standards in this country. The judge/Sheriff/ Idiot who presided over this case should be drummed out of whatever Law Society he/she belongs to, he/she should be unemployed as of yesterday.

    1. Chances are, the haulage companies belong to those with closer links to the working classes. Working classes = strict regulations and severe penalties, upper classes = very few (or no regulations) and lesser penalties, if it ever gets that far in courts. Scrap merchant dealers also have to follow strict procedures and face stiff penalties if they are found guilty of wrongdoing.

      Indeed, almost every type of industry in the UK requires licensing. A couple of weeks ago, I was in my local computer repair shop, and I enquired as to why they didn’t sell secondhand computers. The answer was because they didn’t have a licence!

      Further investigation on this led me to this page http://www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/business/licences-and-permits/licences-and-permits.aspx, and it is a real eye-opener. It really does appear that licences are required for everything – with the exception of grouse shooting estates!

      Great Britain, the most corrupt nation on earth!

  6. UNTOUCHABLES what do you think would happen if someone poured some of these chemicals into a medicated grit tray or a seed hopper, do you honestly think they would get a £15 fine and a slap on the wrist
    one rule for one and no rules for others

  7. He’s retired now. Probably got a nice wee training job lined up. Joining the NGO retired members group?

  8. It seems large elements of the judiciary are not up to the job in this area. Where does one go with this ongoing problem?? – EU maybe??. The UK is rapidly loosing credibility when it comes to its response to the escalating cases of serious wildlife crime within its borders. Hard to lecture the likes of Malta when we have this type of thing going on day in, day out in blighty

  9. This is what the RSPB is for ; to protect birds !
    Can we hope that the full force of the RSPB will be put into the effort to highlight this and similar illegal practices . There are 1 million members who need to have this highlighted , publicized and put into the mainstream media .

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