Gamekeeper receives four-month custodial sentence for raptor crimes12 January 2015
Gamekeeper George Mutch, 48, of Kildrummy Estate, Aberdeenshire, has been sentenced to a four month prison term for crimes he committed against raptors. He is believed to be the first gamekeeper in the UK to receive a custodial sentence for raptor persecution crimes. Mutch was convicted in December 2014 of four offences: the use of traps for the purpose of taking wild birds, the killing of a goshawk (which he had trapped and then clubbed to death with a stick), the taking of another goshawk, and the taking of a buzzard. The offences took place on the Kildrummy Estate in August and September 2012. Mutch had denied the allegations, leading to a trial where video evidence collected by RSPB Scotland proved central to his conviction. The Scottish Raptor Study Group welcomes the strong sentence and congratulates all those involved in the prosecution, particularly the RSPB Investigations Team, SSPCA, Police Scotland, and COPFS. News coverage here, here and here.