A great by result the garda that will hopefully put the message out to other like minded persons
Two Deer Poachers Convicted at Naas District Court on 4th. December 2013. Fines totalling €3,100.00, driving disqualifications for two years, firearm certificates to be revoked. (Share & like to name & shame)
Garda statement - two men from Rathvilly, Co. Carlow appeared at Naas District Court on 4th. December 2013 charged with three offences under the Wildlife Act 1976 as amended.
Defendants Donal Smith Jnr, 10 Woodgrove Avenue, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow & Christopher Morris, 31 Slaney Bank, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow.
The offences charged related to the unlawful possession of a Sika Deer, Obstruction of an Authorised Officer and Using an MPV for the purpose of hunting at Kippure, Co. Wicklow on 16th. February 2012.
The facts of the case confirmed that Conservation Rangers from the NPWS had surveillance in place on the carcass of a Sika Deer which was concealed adjacent to the main road leading from Blessington to the Sally Gap. It was suspected that the deer had been illegally shot the previous night and had been prepared for collection during daylight hours thus minimising the chances of detection/interception while poaching / conveying deer during the night time hours.
The two defendants arrived on scene at 2.20pm. They were photographed by the Rangers and readily identified while loading the deer carcass into a black VW Golf the property of Mr Donal Smith Jnr.
The defendants made good their escape when challenged by the Rangers and drove away towards Blessington.
At 3.30pm Garda Darragh Jennings stopped the offending vehicle at Hollywood, Co. Wicklow however the defendants had disposed of the carcass at this juncture.
They were questioned at lenght but denied all knowledge of the allegations of deer poaching. When the photographic evidence was produced in situ they rubbished same suggesting that it had been contrived.
Mr Smith Jnr, through his solicitor, admitted shooting one deer. It was further suggested that he was embarking upon a career as a bodybuilder and required the venison as a cheap form of protein.
Judge Zaidan imposed a fine of 1100e and a two year driving disqualification against Christopher Morris while Donal Smith Jnr was fined a total of 2000e with a two year disqualification.
Judge Zaidan indicated that he was seriously considering the imposition of a custodial sentence and said that on the evidence as presented he was satisfied that Mr Smith Jnr played a pivotal role in this organised and structured deer poaching enterprise.
Mr Smith Jnr holds Firearm Certificates in respect of two rifles and it is envisaged that both will be revoked by the District Officer in Carlow.