A PEAK District gamekeeper sentenced to community service and ordered to pay costs of £10,000 in an animal cruelty case has lost an appeal.
Glenn Brown, aged 40, from Bamford, was convicted last June of seven offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and Animal Welfare Act, for using a trap with a live pigeon as bait to lure rare sparrowhawks to their deaths.
He was said to have been trying to protect grouse on an estate on Howden Moor.
Brown challenged the conviction and sentence in a three-week appeal, which heard claims evidence had been ‘planted’ to incriminate Brown. But the case was dismissed – and Brown has been ordered to pay a further £7,000 in costs.
RSPB conservation director Martin Harper said: “We are delighted, but not surprised the integrity and honesty of our investigations officers has been found to be beyond reproach after coming under forensic examination in this case.”
Brown was originally arrested by Derbyshire Police in May 2010, after an undercover surveillance operation mounted by an RSPB investigations team.
RSPB officers filmed Brown using a cage trap baited with a live pigeon.
Although cage traps are legal when trying to trap some species, it is illegal both to use a pigeon as bait and to capture birds of prey.
Mark Thomas, an investigations officer with the RSPB, said: “With so much evidence convicting Brown during the first trial we were stunned his defence felt comfortable mounting an appeal suggesting the RSPB had framed him. Bird of prey persecution remains a top wildlife crime priority in the UK and it is one we are determined to help the police reduce.”