Three Doncaster hunters convicted after dogs maul deer to death

Three Doncaster poachers have been convicted after being found guilty of hunting with dogs which saw a deer savaged to death.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 2:38 pm

Matthew Vann, 26, of The Boulevard, Edenthorpe, Ellie Scorer, 21, of Tennyson Road, Bentley, and Lewis Hill, 21, of Bentley Road, Bentley, appeared at Bridlington Magistrates Court on Monday.

All three were found guilty of hunting wild mammals with dogs and killing deer at night, while Vann was also found guilty of criminal damage and off-road driving.

The case related to an incident on 21 December 2020, when officers received reports of a car driving through a farmer’s field and the sound of an animal being attacked by dogs.

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A deer (top left) was savaged after a trio of Doncaster hunters tore through farmers fields.

Police arrived on the scene and intercepted a Subaru Forester.

Vann, Scorer and Hill were found in the vehicle, with four lurcher-type dogs and a number of high-powered lamps.

On examination of the field, it was discovered that the vehicle had caused extensive damage to the crops – and the body of a dead deer was discovered.

Special Chief Inspector O’Neill, leading the investigation, said: “Night-time poaching is not a harmless, victimless crime and it is something we will take seriously.

“Having a 4x4 vehicle tearing through a field is frightening for nearby residents who have no idea what the occupants’ intentions are.

"In this instance, a deer suffered a cruel and painful death having been mauled by large dogs and damage was caused to the farmer’s crop by the soil being compacted by the tyres and essentially making it unsuitable for crop to grow.

“I am pleased to see that the judge has recognised the impact wildlife crime has on our area. I hope this will deter people from coming into our area and that they are aware we will use all tools available to us to secure a conviction.

“I would like to thank the Country Watch members around Swinefleet and the Isle of Axholme for being vigilant and often giving their time up to report suspicious activity to us. This is an excellent example of teamwork.”

Vann, Scorer and Hill were each sentenced to an eight-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, a rehabilitation activity requirement, forfeiture of lamps, £600 costs and £120 compensation.

A Humberside Police spokesman added: “We continue to prioritise rural and wildlife crime and this week, a number of our officers are attending a wildlife crime officer course to enhance our service to our rural communities and remain equipped to deal with all aspects of wildlife crime robustly.

For more information about how the force deals with wildlife and rural crime visit https://www.humberside.police.uk/wildlife-and-rural-crime

A spokesman said: “There is loads of crime prevention advice on these pages too.”

Use social media?

You can keep up to date with the team’s activities by following the hashtag #RuralTaskForce and social media platforms on Twitter @HPWildlifeRural @Humberbeat_ERYN @Humberbeat_ERYS @Humberbeat_ERYW on Facebook look out for activity in your area on your local pages Humberside Police East Riding of Yorkshire North/South and West.

Contact police on 101 with details of poaching.