A 69-year-old man has been fined £900 after being prosecuted for trespassing on private land and for being in possession of a firearm in a public place
It comes after Country Watch officers responded to reports from local gatekeepers of two suspicious men shooting late at night on Beaulieu Estate on Tuesday 9 March 2021 at around 10pm.
The court heard that one of the men had alleged that he had permission to be on the land and was hunting a fox that he had just seen.
However, upon further investigation, he had been witnessed to be standing on a public verge next to his vehicle with the firearm – committing an offence in the process. It was also later discovered that he did not have permission to be on the land so was in fact trespassing.
Appearing at Southampton Magistrates Court yesterday (4 April) a 69-year-old man from Lymington was found guilty of possessing a loaded firearm in a public place and trespassing on land with a firearm.
He was fined £900, ordered to pay £620 in court costs and a victim surcharge totalling £90.
PC Matt Thelwell of the CountryWatch team, said: “We hope that this conviction sends out a strong message to those with firearms licences across the New Forest, but who may be acting inappropriately with their legally held firearm.
“Whether that is poaching deer, shooting without permission – if we are aware that these offences are taking place we will seek to take robust action and bring those responsible in front of the courts and justice will be served.”
If you witness suspicious activity, or a crime taking place, please dial 101 or report it via the Hampshire Constabulary website. Dial 999 immediately if it is an emergency.