'Cruel' hare hunter's audacious escape bid after farmer desperately tries to block him in

A 'cruel' hare hunter was eventually snared following an audacious escape bid after a farmer desperately rushed to block him in with some of his machinery.

George Miller, from Morecambe, travelled nearly 200 miles to farmland in Lincolnshire with co-defendant Lewis Sheridan. Police were alerted just before 10am on Friday, October 13 last year after the pair were seen walking across the arable land near Spalding with two dogs.

A court heard how they were using the hounds, a beige long dog and a black long dog, to chase and catch hares. Police said they had arrived earlier that day in a silver Skoda which left near to a farm in the area, close to the villages of Twenty and West Pinchbeck.


They had tried to hide it behind some foliage but were spotted and when they returned to the vehicle were challenged by a local farmer, who tried to block them in with some of his farm machinery. In a bid to escape, the Skoda was driven 'at speed' across grassed areas and onto the A151.

However they were arrested less an hour later, when their car was spotted by patrolling officers and pulled over. The car was seized as were the dogs and 'other property believed to be used in the commission of their illegal activities', including three thermal cameras, a video camera and four mobile phones.

Officers were able to use information from the devices to prove the pair had been illegally hunting, and pinpoint the location. For example, they were able to match the background on pictures taken by the pair, one of which was taken on the day of their arrest and showed Sheridan stood posing with a hare in his hand, with Spalding Power Station in the distance.

In their police interviews, the pair tried to claim they had the landowner's permission to undertake 'pest control.' However hare coursing is illegal under any circumstances and no such permission can ever be granted, Lincolnshire Police said.

The pair were charged and pleaded guilty at Boston Magistrates Court on Wednesday, May, to hunting a wild mammal with a dog. Miller, of Loupsefell Drive, Morecambe, and Sheridan, of Thicketford Road, in the Tonge area of Bolton, were both handed 10 year Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs).

These mean they are banned from entering any private land in the counties of Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire or Nottinghamshire between the recognised hare coursing season, 31 July to 30 April, with a sighthound, ground, long dog or lurcher type dog or cross-breed or be in the company of any other people with that type of dog.

They were forced to relinquish their ownership of the dogs which have now been re-homed. They were made to pay for kennelling fees as part of the fines, costs and surcharges with both men ordered to pay £4,575.50 within 30 days.

PC Karen Irving, of the Rural Crime Action Team, said: “With the support of the farming community, our team, along with response officers, neighbourhood teams and other resources from the force, focus on bringing offenders before the courts. These offenders are people who inflict such outdated cruelty and terror upon our wildlife.

"I believe the defendants both relinquished their dogs so that kennelling costs were not adding up, which they do daily. The welfare of the dogs is our main concern as we can rehome them much sooner than waiting for a potential court order.

“Notwithstanding the real cruelty and horror of these offences, the farmers have their land and crops damaged and that can have long term financial consequences. The farmer in this case has supported us throughout our investigation and we’re very grateful for their help.”