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Men convicted of wildlife crimes after forensic investigation

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Two men have been convicted of wildlife offences after a forensic investigation by North Yorkshire Police.

On 22 January 2016, John Michael Ginty, 25, and Marcus Owen Batey, 25, both from Middlesbrough, appeared at Northallerton Magistrates Court.

Ginty pleaded guilty to killing a deer at night, under the Deer Act 1991, and hunting a wild mammal with dogs, under the Hunting Act 2004. He received a ten-week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months, with fines and costs totalling £480.

Batey pleaded guilty to trespassing on land at night and destroying a rabbit, under the Night Poaching Act 1828, and received fines and costs totalling £430.

In the early hours of 9 March 2015, a Peugeot 206 was found parked by a wood near Eryholme, near the A167 between Croft on Tees and Northallerton by PC John Wilbor and Special Sergeant John Stanwix on rural patrol.

Ginty and Batey were seen to return to the vehicle with two large lurcher dogs and two lamps. Ginty had an amount of blood on his hands and clothes. A dead pregnant roe deer was found a short distance from the road, with injuries to its neck and hind legs. Both men were arrested, and a full investigation was carried out, involving substantiating deer DNA on the blood found on Ginty.

PC Wilbor, a wildlife crime officer at North Yorkshire Police, said: “This conviction shows the extent that forensics will be used to prove wildlife offences, and should send a strong message that this horrendous activity of causing animals to suffer is unacceptable.”

To find out more about how North Yorkshire Police’s Wildlife Crime Officers tackle rural crime, visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/wildlifecrime. For comprehensive rural crime prevention advice, see www.northyorkshire.police.uk/ruralcrime.

Residents in rural areas are invited to join a Watch scheme to help us in the fight against countryside crime. For more information, call 101, select option 2, and ask for your local police station.

Special Constables are trained volunteers who have the same powers as regular police officers. They play a crucial role in fighting crime and keeping rural areas safe. North Yorkshire Police are currently recruiting Special Constables – to find out more, visit www.nypspecials.com.

Last modified: June 13, 2018