Sentencing deferred for convicted Scottish gamekeeper Rhys Owen Davies

Sentencing has been deferred today for depraved Scottish gamekeeper Rhys Owen Davies.

Davies, 28, had pleaded guilty at Forfar Sheriff Court in May 2022 to a number of animal cruelty offences relating to the keeping and training of dogs for animal fighting (badger baiting) and of failing to seek veterinary attention for dogs that had sustained serious injuries from those fights. He had also pleaded guilty to a number of firearms offences after the Scottish SPCA raided his home in 2019 on Millden Estate in the Angus Glens and found three unsecure guns and ammunition lying around inside the house.

[A screen shot of media coverage in May 2022 after Davies had pleaded guilty]

Davies was identified as part of a brutal dog-fighting ring when he submitted grotesque ‘trophy’ photographs to be printed, using his address on Millden Estate as the return address. Shop workers alerted the Scottish SPCA who then launched an investigation.

Sentencing was deferred in May for social reports after Sheriff Derek Reekie told Davies:

This is truly disturbing and stressful. It’s just horrendous. It seems to me I’ve got to consider a custodial sentence.

This was clearly an organised activity. It’s clear from messages a group of these people were engaging in organised fighting and killing of animals“.

Davies was due to be sentenced today but this has now been deferred until 1st August 2022.

There isn’t any further news yet about the separate case concerning sacks full of dead raptors that were also found during the SSPCA raid on Millden Estate. Police Scotland is apparently dealing with that case.

UPDATE 12th July 2022: Convicted Scottish gamekeeper Rhys Davies: delayed sentencing explained (here)

13 thoughts on “Sentencing deferred for convicted Scottish gamekeeper Rhys Owen Davies”

  1. This can’t be right surely????? Millden at the center of wildlife crime again!!!!!
    Scratch the surface of many of these unenlightened estates and it wouldn’t be hard to find criminal activity,,,, in my opinion.

  2. If Davies was a ‘fully-trained gamekeeper’ with 3 years college training, as mentioned in a previous report, I’d love to know which college he attended, and how he managed to pass any exams they might take. I wonder if he showed any characteristics then that would prove relevant in his present lifestyle?

    1. I’m being ironic, but he probably did show certain “characteristics that would prove relevant” and that is likely why he landed a job on a good Estate! The manager who runs the Estate is a highly regarded and experienced Agent, with plenty of “success” in spotting youngsters of the right sort. And he is a very rare thing – although he rubs shoulders with the great and the good these days, he started out as a keeper himself so knows it inside out too. Purely my own thoughts – but I cannot bring myself to believe that the other Beatkeepers, the Headkeeper and the Manager weren’t aware that this moron was a bit overly into the “terrier work” side of keepering. That would defy everything I have ever seen or heard about how keepers live and work on big estates. Obviously I hope Davies gets some jail time, but I am not confident he will.

  3. I’m trying to imagine why the sentencing was deferred given the fact that there was ample time between conviction and now to compile any background reports required. No mention of anything in the media that I can find.

      1. According to what I have read, Wendy, the junior barristers strike applies only to England and Wales…. as was printed by some newspapers.

      2. There are no ‘barristers’ in Scotland. The closest equivalents are ‘Advocates’. It’s a different legal system..

  4. It has a funny smell to it and I wonder if there are unseen influences at work here. The fact sentencing has been deferred suggests there are factors being considered, or people being got at behind the scenes. I am sure that the people involved in the large estates in Scotland would be members of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. Most of the judiciary are member of this, along with a large number of police officers. You can draw your own conclusions.

    Dog fighting seems to be a common activity in Scotland. The village I lived in, which was in the southern uplands, was said to have dog fighting ring. As far as I am aware there was no action taken to investigate this despite it being common knowledge locally.

      1. I suppose any delay, perhaps for a day or two’s consultation or study, will postpone the subsequent court date to the next vacant slot of the appropriate duration. I feel justice would be seen to be done if there were some explanation. Perhaps the prosecution might comment afterwards, and restore a little confidence to some of us.

  5. A deplorable decision.
    There shouldn’t be any considerations. He was found guilty. So he should be sentenced.
    He had no consideration for any of the animals: his dogs and those animals tormented and killed by his dogs.
    What other is there to consider? It is beyond me.
    If he gets a lenient sentence then obviously something, the Scottish legal system possibly, is at fault.
    If so, I hope there will be uproar. Although I am certain of that and that that will be successful

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