Men found guilty of hare coursing near Hitchin

The men have been fined

The men have been fined - Credit: Archant

TWO men found guilty of hare coursing near Hitchin have been fined.

Joseph Gentle and Mark O’Connor were initially arrested on suspicion of poaching, in September last year.

Police had received reports the pair were allowing their dogs to chase after hares in Horn Hill, Whitwell.

Gentle, 34, of Colney Heath Lane, St Albans, and 37-year-old O’Connor of Anslem Avenue, Bury St Edmonds appeared before Hertford Magistrates Court last Monday, where they were found guilty of the offence.

They were fined £250 each and ordered to pay additional court costs of £325 apiece.

Sergeant Jamie Bartlett, who leads the rural operational support team, said: “We will not tolerate hare coursing or poaching in our rural areas and hope the outcome of this trial sends a strong message to anyone considering participating in this form of activity.

“Not only do illegal coursers and poachers trespass on private land, they damage crops and property.”

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