Gamekeeper pleads guilty to killing buzzards in Nottinghamshire

Further to the blog post on 4th January 2022 (here), a gamekeeper has pleaded guilty to five offences committed in Nottinghamshire in January 2021, including the illegal killing of two buzzards, the unlawful use of a trap, the unlawful possession of two stock doves and a firearms offence.

[Nottinghamshire Police visited the crime scene to collect evidence with the RSPB Investigations Team in January last year. Photo via Nottinghamshire Police Rural Crime Team]

His guilty plea means he has avoided a trial (and thus saved the court time) for which he’ll no doubt be rewarded when it comes to sentencing.

Sentencing has been deferred until later this month. I expect the full horror of his crimes, and his identity, to be publicised at that time. It’ll be interesting to see whether he has any ‘professional’ affiliations to any of the shooting organisations that claim to operate a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on raptor persecution.

A Raptor Forensic Fund, established in 2020 by Wild Justice to help provide financial support to police investigations into alleged raptor persecution crime, has played a part in this conviction.

This is the 4th gamekeeper to be convicted of wildlife crimes/raptor persecution since November 2021. The three others were gamekeeper Shane Leech (33) in Suffolk (here), gamekeeper Peter Givens (53) in the Scottish Borders (here) and gamekeeper Hilton Prest (58) in Cheshire (here).

Kudos to Nottinghamshire Police Rural Crime Team, the RSPB Investigations Team and the CPS for their hard work in securing this result. Excellent partnership working in action!

UPDATE 28th January 2022: Gamekeeper to be sentenced for beating to death two buzzards in a trap (here)

17 thoughts on “Gamekeeper pleads guilty to killing buzzards in Nottinghamshire”

  1. I’m pleased that the Raptor Forensic Fund helped to bring a conviction but why is Wild Justice subsidising the police?

    1. Because there are certain areas of the police, media, political and legal system that don’t want many of these crimes investigated and prosecuted. I made a donation to them today. Haven’t you noticed that, with the very odd exception (The Guardian), this whole issue is continually ignored in the media, including the BBC. Look at the trouble people have in getting basic information and questions answered by organisations like Unnatural England – they are supposed to represent all of us. It seems more and more often the law is used to keep things hidden.

    2. Hi Sue,

      Wild Justice instigated this fund after conversations with a number of Police Wildlife Crime Officers who said that raising funds for forensic analysis early on in an investigation was often challenging due to senior officers having to balance slashed budgets and decreased resources.

      There are a couple of blogs by Wild Justice which explain in more detail:


  2. Well done to the multi-agency team including Nottinghamshire Police, RSPB and the Wild Justice Raptor Forensic Fund. Just the good news we need for the New Year.

  3. Do you know whether these guys are members of the NGO, and if so whether their memberships will be cancelled.

  4. Yet another criminal in that dastardly occupation.
    To all those mentioned in the last paragraph plus Wild Justice, a great big thank you.

  5. I’m looking forward to reading the letter of thanks to the police, RSPB and Wild Justice that I am sure the shooting organisations are busy writing at the moment.

  6. The cage trap has no shelter for the birds, thats a basic need, the call birds need to be well fed and given shelter, they dinna last long without it

  7. Let’s hope that his punishment is a heavy fine and a long custodial sentence, but as you, most rightly, state, ‘His guilty plea means he has avoided a trial (and thus saved the court time) for which he’ll no doubt be rewarded when it comes to sentencing’ will mean its just another slap on the wrist and told not to be a naughty boy again. At least a non-trial will save the tax payer.
    Congratulations must go to all those various agencies who have managed to get this man convicted, let’s hope their efforts don’t go to waste.

  8. “His guilty plea means he has avoided a trial” …………………….. and possibly avoided things being said in court that the criminals would not want heard.

  9. No doubt the guilty plea is assuming that will buy him no jail time. What will be most interesting is who will pick up the bill for his legal representation, court costs and any fines imposed. That should be in the public domain: then we could see who is funding the criminals!

  10. I’m sure Lord Botham and his ilk will be the first to congratulate the police on removing yet another bad apple. I await his response with baited breath

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