'hypothetical' question....armed trespass and who's for the chop?

Muddy Springer

Well-Known Member
Lets say a stalker has a signed contract with an estate to stalk deer on 3 woodlands. He takes it upon himself to one evening take his friend along - who also has a rifle. A concerned neighbour on hearing multiple shots at dusk calls the police as can't get hold of the estate. Police duly arrive and intercept the two chaps leaving the wood with deer, both with rifles. Details taken and as there was some show of paperwork they went on their way. Report sent to estate in the morning from police who understandably went ballistic and immediately suspend said contract and report to police that the chaps friend was there illegally (armed trespass and potentially theft). What do you think will be the repercussions from the police against 'friend' with rifle (revocation probably) and will the same revocation action likely be taken against the stalker, who knowingly allowed/ encouraged said illegal act of armed trespass? Hypothetically is someones now in some deep ****??
 

limulus

Well-Known Member
Hadnt his friend been out earlier to zero his rifle on his own ground and simply taken it with him for security reasons without the bullets of course?
 

jamross65

Well-Known Member
The following definition would suggest that if this guest came along having been told by the stalker that his presence was okay, then it is difficult to prove he has done any wrong, especially if the actions of the stalker suggest all was okay, parking the vehicle making no attempt to hide it, shots being taken that will obviously be heard etc etc... It may take a bit of explaining but the guest will likely have the stalker confirming that he was invited.

The stalker who had permission however has been a bit of a tw*t for jeopardising his stalking.

mens rea [ˈmɛnz ˈreɪə]n(Law) Law a criminal intention or knowledge that an act is wrong. It is assumed to be an ingredient of all criminal offences although some minor statutory offences are punishable irrespective of it
 

basil

Distinguished Member
Might it depend on what the contractee told the guest? If the guest was told it was ok how would he know any different?
Don`t know how the law would look at that as he is `unknowingly` in the wrong.
 

limulus

Well-Known Member
Being serious I think the offence of armed trespass could be easily proven despite mens rea.
As an analogy if I was stopped by the police driving my pals car, despite having been told I was insured on his in sewer ants, I'm sure I could be prosecuted, despite the apparent unfairness of the situation, for driving whilst uninsured.
 

perdix

Well-Known Member
A lot would depend o how much of the blame the stalker is willing to take I would think.
If he cops the lot and tells the police etc that his mate had no idea he was in the wrong then any straight thinking copper would hopefully just dish out a couple of bollockings.
I've been involved in something similar although concerning a chap rabbiting and all that happened was they named man and his mate were told to leave and any permission was revoked.No police as I reckon the loss of shooting is a big enough kick in the teeth
 

bobthedug

Well-Known Member
I think the talk of the police revoking certificates is a non starter and police will unlikely become further involved despite what the details of any contract is.
From what you say, the police who attended were obviously satisfied by the explanation given at the time that no crimes were being committed
If indeed it was decided that in view of the Estates position it was now necessary to re-interview both the persons, it would require full confessions from both that they were in the wrong and knew it! Then there might be enough evidence to submit a report but that's hypothetically speaking.
Likelihood is that the shooter here has lost his permission with little or no prospect of any further police involvement.
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
It is an offence to enter any building, part of a building or land (including land covered by water) with a firearm without reasonable excuse (the proof whereof lies on the person): Section 20 Firearms Act 1968.

So limulus is right in that you don't need to necessarily know you're doing it to be guilty of it. Whether being told by someone who has the stalking rights that it's okay (and being able to prove he told you that) is a reasonable excuse or not would be a matter for the courts should proceedings be taken, and may only be mitigation on conviction. Reasonable excuse generally means you have permission from the landowner/person that has the shooting rights, as opposed to someone with permission to shoot.


 

monarman

Well-Known Member
The guy who is NOT on the written contract is indeed guilty of armed trespass. The Contract clearly states that NO Guests are allowed to be on the property with a firearm, ONLY the person stated in said contract is allowed to be in possession of a firearm on that property.
With regards to the guest being in for his certificate being revoked..... I should think it's highly likely, especially if the land owner wants to take it further.
The contracted stalker on the other hand... again if the land owner wants to take it further then I should think a revocation could be on the cards, but the main onus lies with the firearms department.
I think that because the contracted stalker 'Knowingly' allowed the other chap to commit armed trespass he too will be in deep poo.
silly man!!!
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Interesting! Some years ago I bought a day's pigeon shooting with Warwickshire Pigeon.

At the rendezvous, in the roadside car park of a closed public house, myself and the other "punters" were asked by "Mr Warwickshire Pigeon" to produce our SGCs and our proof of third party insurance. When I then asked him for a written permission form from him stating that were were his clients on the land we were to shoot over AND a receipt for the monies we had paid him...he declined to furnish either!

Now as I only saw the ONE pigeon and, thankfully, shot it there wasn't enough shooting for any locals to have cause to telephone the police. But I do wonder if they had what would have been the reaction if I was then asked to produce evidence of my authority to be in that filed with a shot gun and shooting pigeon.

Safe to say I never ever used his services again. But anyone who takes paid shooting unless he meets the landowner or landowner's agent IN PERSON in say the landowner's residence or the landowner's agent's office is taking a risk that things may not be as were in fact presented.

Simply meeting "X" halfway along such and such lane or on the edge of "Big Wood" at "Y" o'clock is putting a lot of trust in another's honesty and if you take "X''s verbal assurance with no written evidence you take a huge risk if things go awry.
 
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Orvil

Well-Known Member
What Stephen Magson said.
Especially the bit about what the local force area's policy is towards "Armed trespass" - either they'll gloss it over or it's trousers down and touch your toes time
 

woodmaster

Well-Known Member
Hi Enfield spares. I must say this does make me think. I have been out with a good number of guys for paid stalking and met at point X down road Y etc. As you say alot of trust is given. SO my question to the professional guides out there is. Would you be offended or such if a client asked for written confirmation of permission? And if this is given how would we be likely to verify this? I guess the need to verify would only come into play in the event of an incident.
 

african jack

Well-Known Member
The guy who is NOT on the written contract is indeed guilty of armed trespass. The Contract clearly states that NO Guests are allowed to be on the property with a firearm, ONLY the person stated in said contract is allowed to be in possession of a firearm on that property.
With regards to the guest being in for his certificate being revoked..... I should think it's highly likely, especially if the land owner wants to take it further.
The contracted stalker on the other hand... again if the land owner wants to take it further then I should think a revocation could be on the cards, but the main onus lies with the firearms department.
I think that because the contracted stalker 'Knowingly' allowed the other chap to commit armed trespass he too will be in deep poo.
silly man!!!

totally agree and those that do it will get caught at some time
 

jamross65

Well-Known Member
I maybe misread it but I didn't see anywhere in the initial post that the guest was shown a contract stating no guests allowed and then proceeded to stalk anyway? I made the assumption that he went stalking because the stalker with the written permission told him it would be okay for him to go out as his guest.

Written or verbal permission for allowing access to ground in Scotland at least seems at time to be quite vague. There is no legal requirement stating you must be in possession of written permission to visit ground to shoot. That's completely different to insurance on a vehicle where it has to exist in writing and can be easily checked and is likely to be near at hand for an occasion where a vehicle is being borrowed or used. We know that insurance is required to drive a vehicle so without checking a piece of paper that the owner of the vehicle must have then in that case ignorance of the law or making that assumption would be no excuse. To me its a different scenario than this one...

I still think that given all the circumstances which include things like conduct of the stalker during this incident, the length of time the guest has known he has stalked there, even perhaps the guest knowing others have been taken out prior to him are all reasonable excuse in him believing he could also be there legally. If that is backed up by the stalker subsequently stating to the estate/police/whoever that he told the guest he could rightfully be there then I don't think it likely a court would see this case as there is reasonable doubt and no mens rea...

If however he knew that the contract had the condition of no guests on it and the stalker made him aware of that but said lets go anyway........ then disregard everything I have said in this post, he's screwed!!!
 

pheasant sniper 1

Well-Known Member
I maybe misread it but I didn't see anywhere in the initial post that the guest was shown a contract stating no guests allowed and then proceeded to stalk anyway? I made the assumption that he went stalking because the stalker with the written permission told him it would be okay for him to go out as his guest.

Written or verbal permission for allowing access to ground in Scotland at least seems at time to be quite vague. There is no legal requirement stating you must be in possession of written permission to visit ground to shoot. That's completely different to insurance on a vehicle where it has to exist in writing and can be easily checked and is likely to be near at hand for an occasion where a vehicle is being borrowed or used. We know that insurance is required to drive a vehicle so without checking a piece of paper that the owner of the vehicle must have then in that case ignorance of the law or making that assumption would be no excuse. To me its a different scenario than this one...

I still think that given all the circumstances which include things like conduct of the stalker during this incident, the length of time the guest has known he has stalked there, even perhaps the guest knowing others have been taken out prior to him are all reasonable excuse in him believing he could also be there legally. If that is backed up by the stalker subsequently stating to the estate/police/whoever that he told the guest he could rightfully be there then I don't think it likely a court would see this case as there is reasonable doubt and no mens rea...

If however he knew that the contract had the condition of no guests on it and the stalker made him aware of that but said lets go anyway........ then disregard everything I have said in this post, he's screwed!!!

Agreed,

Ive turned up at estates all over the country and with umpteen members on SD offering stalking.

Not once have I or anybody else that's been with me asked to see the lease or been offered it to look at.

Whose to say this poor chap hasn't turned up invited and now finds himself through no fault of his own right in it...
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Quite an interesting thread.

I know somone who was in a stalking syndicate near to his house, was in it for years, sent his cheque off every year and heard very little if anything from the leaseee until the next cheque time.
Long story short he sent cheque off as usual 1 year but unkown to him he had handed lease in but still cashed cheque (bit naughty) a few months later he was caught coming out off the wood stalking by the new syndicate members, who obvously were not happy.
Luckily he was good mates with the forester who stuck up for him and managed to calm the new syndicate down.

It can happen relatively easily and u need to trust whoever ur with. It's the stalker that should have his arse well and truely kicked not the poor guest.

Was there not a similar incident a few years ago with a well known stalker down south doing this type off thing, except taking paying clients out on others land
 

Cut+Squirt

Well-Known Member
I think the talk of the police revoking certificates is a non starter and police will unlikely become further involved despite what the details of any contract is.
From what you say, the police who attended were obviously satisfied by the explanation given at the time that no crimes were being committed
If indeed it was decided that in view of the Estates position it was now necessary to re-interview both the persons, it would require full confessions from both that they were in the wrong and knew it! Then there might be enough evidence to submit a report but that's hypothetically speaking.
Likelihood is that the shooter here has lost his permission with little or no prospect of any further police involvement.



+1
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
It is quite possible that no further action will be taken by the authorities, that it'll be seen as a genuine error by the "guest" and the resident stalker may lose his permission, this all being to a degree dependant on the landowner/shooting rights holder's wishes as much as the police. But it goes to show how easy it is to fall foul. I too have been pigeon shooting and goose shooting where you rely on the word of the guide that everything is above board. Makes you think.
 
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