TWO men who went hunting for hare on the Grimwith Estate have each received fines after admitting unlawfully destroying game.

Skipton magistrates were told Christopher Bowden, and Kevin White, living at different addresses in Hoggarth Avenue, Burnley, were seen by a gamekeeper on the estate on the night of July 24 last year.

Both men did not have permission to be there, the court was told.

The witness said the men were in a white vehicle and he had seen headlights in a field.

The police were called and they saw the two defendants come back towards them from across the field. Each had a dog.

Bowden, 54, had a lamp and White told officers they were catching rabbits. Both confirmed they had no permission.

Officers saw fresh blood in the car and there was a dead hare under the vehicle.

Bowden, a fitter for an bakery engineering company who was currently on furlough, initially denied the charges and a date for a trail was going to be set when he changed his plea.

Prosecuting, Nadine Clough said the men had travelled quite a distance - more than an hour - in the vehicle saying it questioned the current Covid rules around non-essential trips.

Neither men were represented in court.

White said he worked for an aggregates company and travelled to Wigan each day. He was told he was in danger of being disqualified from driving which is a power magistrates have when a vehicle is used to aid a crime.

White told the bench it would not happen again.

Magistrates ordered White to pay a fine of £369, costs of £85 and a surcharge of £37.

Bowden, who said he was struggling on a 60 per cent furlough and had a wife and four children to support was given a lesser fine of £143.

He was also ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a surcharge of £34.

The lamp used was to be forfeited.

The chairman of the bench said: “This sort of offence we take a dim view of in rural areas. We need to do what we can to discourage this.”