Poacher handed suspended sentence after being caught by police on patrol in Northumberland
A poacher caught in possession of three knives has been handed a suspended sentence and had his equipment destroyed.
Rural crime officers were on patrol on November 9, 2020 when they caught a flash of light coming from a field in the Horton Road area of Blyth.
Stopping to investigate, they soon ran into 30-year-old Mark Mann who was fully kitted out with a high powered lamp and thermal imager – which he tried to claim was a video camera – and two dogs.
Following a search, it was also discovered he was in possession of three hunting knives.
It was later confirmed by the land owner that he had no permission to be on the land.
He was prosecuted under the Hunting Act and on Monday, April 19, he appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates Court and he pleaded guilty to going equipped and possession of three bladed articles.
Mann, of Hollywell Road, North Shields, was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and handed two fines.
Sergeant Ian Pattison from the Rural Crime Team said: “Poaching isn’t just taking one for the pot, but is the use of dogs to indiscriminately kill wildlife, often for betting purposes as well as on occasions damaging fields and fences with vehicles.
“It is an offence we take very seriously and those who continue to break the law in such a way do risk imprisonment.”
He added: “We are committed to tackling offenders and have been working closely with our rural community to encourage them to report any suspicious behaviour.
“It is really important to call the police if you see anything suspicious. This information not only assists the attending officer so they know what they are looking for but it also helps us gather evidence and progress investigations.”
Sgt Pattison added: “Please do not approach these individuals and simply report and record what is seen.”
Anyone who sees anything suspicious or has any information about Rural Crime is asked to contact police via 101 or can do so by submitting the online tell us something form.
If a crime is in progress ring 999. You can also do this anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.