“A shocking & unnecessary act of cruelty & violence” says Judge sentencing gamekeeper John Orrey

Further to today’s news that gamekeeper John Orrey, 63, of Hall Farm, Kneeton, Nottinghamshire was sentenced today at Nottingham Magistrates Court for battering to death two buzzards he’d caught inside a trap (see here), here’s a piece from BBC journalist Simon Hare on East Midlands Today. Hare door-stepped Orrey as he left the court today but Orrey refused to comment.

Tom Grose from the RSPB Investigations team deserves credit for his poise and professionalism in what must have been a harrowing case.

Unfortunately this short video will expire at 7pm tomorrow (Saturday 29th Jan 2022) so watch it while you have the chance. Starts at 04.40 min:


11 thoughts on ““A shocking & unnecessary act of cruelty & violence” says Judge sentencing gamekeeper John Orrey”

  1. I’m sorry but surely a jail sentence is appropriate, such leniency ??? I’m appalled and had to skip the dreadful video footage. Genuinely remorseful? Really….

  2. Pleased to see the man will now lose his gun licences and hopefully his job but as we all know someone will take him in.

    1. It is the employers that need to bear the greater punishment but they remain invisible or get away with pretending they don’t approve of their employees’ cruelty. But most of them absolutely think its fine, in fact it’s an instruction

  3. Amazing, it’s about time someone actually got charged for a crime against wildlife.
    I hope they have their hunting licence removed now for a year as a punishment, as well, so they will see an impact on their pockets too, people like him only react to monetary infringement.
    I just hope and prey that this will set a president, and more killers will be charged, for far to long these people have been able to get away with it Scott free, I strongly feel that all landowners, and Moorkeepers, and gamekeepers should be held fully responsible for any protected species being killed on their land, and they should be punished, this will give them an incentive to actually protect them instead of killing them.
    And again licensing should be removed for any incidents involving a protected species, and there should be different levels of punishment, ie; first one loose license for one year, or perhaps one season, and second incident should be 2 years, third incident should be permanent removal of hunting licences so all hunting is banned on the land.
    I believe that this will make them think about the environment, and about the wildlife they are directly having an impact upon, I firmly believe that if they can’t protect the endangered, and protected species then they are not safe, or responsible enough to be allowed to use guns or traps, or anything that involves capture or killing of anything.
    If you look up the amount of birds of prey that have gone missing under very strange circumstances on or near grouse moors you would be horrified, there have been many hundreds dissappear in these circumstances, and miraculously the landowners, gamekeepers, and everyone involved in the game killing industry have no idea what happened, or how these birds have been killed, or what made them disappear.
    When GPS trackers batteries start to fail, the signal is sent back with longer intervals, they don’t just stop transmission, when the GPS is due to come to the end of its use, it will simply fall off, it continues to transmit, so I ask, why do so many just stop working near or over grouse moors?, is this coincidence?, or is it as suspected by many, as suspicious, and a telltail sign of interference from humans, and their guns.
    OK so I decided to watch the news video, I am absolutely disgusted, what a bloody joke, cps as per usual just suspended centence, and a measly fine…
    I am absolutely dumbfounded, what was the point of taking it to court to let him laugh his way out.
    As for his so called statement, that is just a well written bit of political nonsense from the solicitor, I don’t believe for one minute he showed any remorse, or feels bad at all about what he has done this time xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx, I would hazard a guess he is doing this xxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx, and has absolutely no regard for the birds or the law.
    What on earth possed the court to suspend the centence?, and why was he not given a fine that would actually discourage him from repeating his actions the next time a buzard is caught in his trap? .
    Why do we have wildlife police if we don’t back them up in court, why do we even have laws to protect the species on the protected lists, we may as well just let them carry on and make them extinct, the same as white tailed eagles, red kites, and many more birds driven to extinction in this country in the past?.
    its down to hard work from a few groups and people who have reintroduced these species back into our country, but if people like this work of art are going to continue to kill them what was the point of the millions spent so far trying to bring them back?, I can see it now that white tailed Eagles also start to dissappear under very mysterious circumstances, and as per normal the gamekeepers, landowners, and hunt masters will have absolutely no idea what happened…
    We need a government who are less interested in birthday cake and “business meetings” than the plight of the protected species being murdered by people like this, but again, it’s all about wealth, and those who do choose to kill birds having the money to protect themselves with very expensive lawyers, and are able to bribe their way out of trouble, and it seems that a lot of politicians are also party to killing birds at organised grouse murdering events, and we have a monarchy who also enjoy the odd killing spree…
    [Ed: rest of comment deleted as off topic]

  4. 2 x buzzards in one day.
    Been a gamekeeper for x many years?

    Wonder what the true total is…..

    This man deserves to be banned from keeping and working with birds…..guessing no charges under the Animal Welfare Act were used….

    Well done to all parties involved however the police need to think out the box

    This man will not be permitted to use the GL for a year but will still be about to snare and trap mammals as well as rear pheasants.

  5. This is a really damaging news story for the game shooting industry.
    It is good this has made the local BBC news, but as raptor persecution is a national wildlife crime priority then it is shame it didn’t make the national news. [Ed: it made Channel 4 News]

    Hopefully this media coverage will alert more of the public just what is going on on in the countryside, and the appalling persecution birds of prey are suffering at the hands of some of our so called “custodians of the countryside”, or should I rephrase that as “criminals of the countryside”.

    I can only hope that the RSPB Youtube video also goes viral, and encourages more of the public to contact the police or RSPB if they see anything suspicious.

    Serious questions also need asking of the government as to why, if raptor persecution is a national wildlife crime priority, and evidence clearly shows how these crow traps are being used to persecute raptors, why steps haven’t been taken tackle this, and changes made to the legislation covering the use of these traps to make criminal use much more difficult.
    The failure to tackle this issue is really something the Minister of Environment should be held accountable for – hopefully an MP with interest in these matters will raise this issue in parliament?? Perhaps it’s something readers of this blog would like to contact their MP’s about?

    At the moment other than claiming raptor persecution is a wildlife crime priority, and making a few pathetic steps to work with so called partners on promoting things like the ridiculous Hen Harrier brood management program, I don’t see the Westminster government taking any meaningful action to properly eradicate raptor persecution or the wildlife crime being committed in our countryside. If the government are really to be believed that they intend to use public money for public good, then they also have to address the issues which allow those who do so much bad in our countryside to continue to operate.

  6. Thank you for sharing this report. It’s good to see the news giving air time to this disgusting behaviour.
    Utterly heart rending to see such cruelty and know it exists far and wide, all because people
    like their sport of shooting the food of our precious raptors.
    The humans are the problem.

    The fact he got off with it, really, didn’t he. Suspended sentences like this make me so disappointed.

  7. So if vicarious liability was in force would the landowner have been prosecuted or would Mr Orrey have had well resourced and aggressive legal representation from the start making a successful prosecution much less likely?

    Experience from Scotland suggests the latter.

    I think the RSPB need to give a bit more thought to how best to proceed..

  8. It all comes down to a bloke called William who 1000yrs ago split up the country and gave it to his mates. Most of that land is still in the ownership of the families it was given to then. Many of these landowners are given huge amounts of our cash through the basic payment scheme just for having the land. I believe it’s about £1000.00 per acre. Under 12 acres you don’t qualify!
    You get even more cash if you enter into a stewardship scheme ie plant trees and hedgerows .lts a disgrace that so much land is not treated with the respect it deserves.
    It made me seeth with anger to see those beautiful birds killed like that. I know what should happen to that man but I won’t say it!

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