Additional bird reserve charge for accused brothers

Roseate tern.
Roseate tern.

Two brothers accused of disturbing rare roseate terns on Coquet Island bird reserve have had their case adjourned so they and their solicitor can watch 14 hours of CCTV footage.

Derwick and Leslie Ramsey, both of Amble, face an additional charge of having a small red cabin cruiser for the purpose of committing an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. If they are convicted, the boat could be confiscated.

Coquet Island, where landing by members of the public is prohibited, has the UK’s only colony of breeding roseates, a ‘red-listed’ species of high conservation concern.

On Tuesday, Bedlington magistrates agreed to a defence request to adjourn, though this was opposed by the prosecution.

Derwick Ramsey, 42, of Dansfield Square, is charged with disturbing nesting roseate terns on July 20 this year and the boat offence on the same date. Leslie Ramsey, 41 today, of Charles Road, is accused of the same offences on July 22.

Defence solicitor Richard Scott requested an adjournment to discuss the case with the brothers and look at the new charge, made that morning.

Prosecutor Jonathan Moore opposed the move, saying the defence had had plenty of time because the disturbance charges had been made on August 14.

Mr Scott told the bench he needed to see aerial views of the island and watch the CCTV.

“I’m not prepared to just do this on the hoof,” he said.

The case was adjourned to next Wednesday and both had bail extended on condition they live and sleep at home and do not attempt to land at Coquet Island.

Disturbing roseate terns carries up to six months’ jail and a fine of £5,000.