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13 December 2014, 05:39
Footage has been released of the crushing of two vehicles which were seized in connection with an investigation into hare coursing.
The crushing took place yesterday (Friday, December 12) at 10am at Burton's Car Disposal, Cockbrook Lane, Old Weston.
PC Robin Smith said: "This could happen to anyone using a vehicle as part of committing crime and should be a warning to them."
Officers attended an incident on farmland in Sawtry on December 13 last year, after receiving reports of six men trespassing and hare coursing on the land.
A police helicopter was deployed and six men were reported for summons to appear at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court. A dog, two vehicles and cash were also seized.
Charlie Doherty, 25, from Newton Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire, Francis Doherty, 37, from Gipsey Lane, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, James Doran, 35, from London Road, Basildon, Essex and John-Brian Lee Senior, 43, from Gipsey Lane, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, were all charged with two counts of daytime trespass by five or more in pursuit of game.
All four denied the charges however all were found guilty on November 5 and each received a £300 fine, ordered to pay £300 in costs and forfeit the vehicles. The court order specified the destruction of the two cars.
A 16-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy were issued youth cautions in connection with the offence.
Stefan Gidlow, Cambridgeshire Countryside Watch Co-ordinator, said: "Hare coursing in rural areas has a huge impact on the rural community. Coursers give no consideration to landowner's property or crops, they verbally abuse and intimidate anyone challenging them, trespass on land, cause damage to crops, hedges, and gates and even sometimes use violence against farmers if challenged."
Brian Finnerty, from the National Farmers Union (NFU), said: "Hare coursing is a serious and ongoing problem in the countryside which affects a lot of our members. They feel isolated, desperate and powerless to stop the coursers who trespass on their land.
"Our experience in Cambridgeshire, and elsewhere, shows incidents of hare coursing can only be dramatically reduced where there is concerted action by farmers, police and the courts - this includes sentences that reflect the seriousness of the crime."