A Scottish gamekeeper is facing trial over allegations that he bludgeoned and then repeatedly stamped on a buzzard.
William Dick, 24, of Whitehill Cottages, Kirkmahoe, Dumfries, denied the charges at Dumfries Sheriff Court last week. The alleged offences reportedly took place in Sunnybrae, Dumfries in April this year.
Dick also denies two charges of breaching firearms regulations by leaving a bolt-action rifle and a Beretta self-loading shotgun loaded with five shells out-with a secure cabinet in his kitchen.
The case has been continued for one month to fix a trial date.
Thanks to the blog reader who sent us a local newspaper report about this hearing.
We’ll be following this case with interest.
UPDATE: 15th October 2014 here
UPDATE: 22nd October 2014 here
14 thoughts on “Scottish gamekeeper accused of bludgeoning then stamping on buzzard that had been shot”
Lets hope this case is dealt with correctly and the outcome is published in every newspaper in the country.
[Ed: Thanks for your comment, Julie, but we can’t publish any of it. The offences are ALLEGED and not proven at this stage]
If found guilty can they remove his gun licences? If not, why not?
yes its highly likely he will have his firearms and shotgun certificates revoked, without them a keeper is armless. RJC.
It wasn’t that long ago that we were told that persecution was an old-school trait and was only carried out by aging gamekeepers – all the young keepers were being trained to respect protected predators and would never dream of breaking the law.
If this person is found guilty, then that would destroy that theory.
I think some of you are mistaking this xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx, remember the recent case of the SAS soldier who brought home a hand gun he had been presented with, he got a prison sentence and was only released after a substantial public outcry, this guy had served his country and was a war veteran. well dont think anything like that will happen xxxxxxx x xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx.
[Ed: Sorry, Merlin, quite heavily edited. At this stage Mr Dick is only ALLEGED to have committed these offences. We have to be cautious about what is published before the trial].
If he has done this alleged crime, xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
[Ed: deleted the defamatory part!]
I was glancing through one of the shooting magazines recently, and an article caught my eye about what is classed as “vermin” by estate owners and their gamekeepers. Corvids, squirrel, rabbits and fox were the main targets, however, there was no mention of any bird of prey species. If those birds are not classed a vermin, then why are they still being killed at an unsustainable rate? I would like to see a full page statement in every shooting magazine, every issue, declaring that birds of prey are NOT VERMIN SPECIES, and are to be left alone.
This case brings the question, as to why there are so few people involved in the decision-making of what lives and dies on our landscape. I hardly think a very small number of people, such as estate and other landowners, being allowed to have such a powerful grip on the management of the countryside. Much is currently being adduced about how great Scotland is, and how far up the league tables we are, in the world economic and a good place to live tables. That might be the case, but for wildlife it has been a hard struggle to survive the Victorian and present day holocausts. A measure of how far we have risen in a compassionate and caring way, would leave us in different positions on the various scales that measure health, crime, care for others and how we treat other life forms. I have volunteered for environmental and animal welfare stalls on the streets of Glasgow and various towns in the former industrial towns of the Central Belt for 50 years, and have found that it was from the poorer and run-down parts, that we got the best and most generous responses. Often the poorest and most challenged would give the most support, financially and morally. Where you got the cynical and threatening gestures, was from the blood sports types, who saw nothing wrong in their out-dated attitude.
I gathered from the same magazine mentioned above, that gun ownership was increasing and gun crime was down. I think most of this ownership is coming from the wannabes who would like to mimic the toffs by having a gun and joining a shooting club, thus justifying more control of any species that may threaten the high numbers of game birds needed to satisfy that increased demand. That equates to more pressure on the gamekeepers. The politicians see the shooting industry as integral to their overall plan for the economy, and the conservationist gets blandishments and phoney promises from various ministers and law enforcement. What a parcel of rogues in a nation!
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[Ed: Comment deleted. It serves no purpose other than to offend].
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[Ed: If you persist, you’ll be permanently banned. You’ve been warned.]
Why is anyone at all deciding what lives and dies. It’s not only humans that matter.
Has the sober voice of the SGA not made any statements about the issue?