TWO men have been fined for hare coursing offences in Ringwood.

Stephen Cooper, aged 29, of Rockley Road in Poole, Dorset and Shane Aaron Manyweathers, aged 29, of Frobisher Avenue in Poole, Dorset both appeared at Southampton Magistrates' Court yesterday (Tuesday October 12).

They were both convicted of poaching offences and each ordered to pay a fine of £1,050.

Officers received reports of hare coursing on Sunday September 30, 2020 at around 6.55pm near Lower Bisterne Farm Estate in Ringwood.

A local resident had been walking their dogs when he noticed two men in an adjacent estate field and grew suspicious after seeing them flushing a hare and then releasing a dog in order to pursue it.

The two men attempted to flee the scene in their vehicle which was parked close by, but were blocked from leaving by the estate associates and eventually fled on foot.

Following police enquiries, they were arrested a short while later. They were then reported for summons on suspicion of poaching offences, namely trespassing in pursuit of game.

PC Matthew Thelwell, of Hampshire Constabulary’s CountryWatch team, said: “We will always support our local rural communities by prosecuting those who wish to conduct or be involved in blood sports such as hare coursing, where evidence allows.

"Damage to farm land and property is never acceptable and will not be tolerated. We will always seek to explore relevant lines of enquiry in order to identify and bring those responsible to justice.”

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