A man has been fined after he was caught illegally lamping with dogs in Northumberland.
George Carter sneaked onto farmland at West Houses Farm, in Medburn, near Ponteland, with a group of mates.
At around 11pm on January 14, the group used a Mitsubishi off-road vehicle to travel to the site before using bright lamps and whippet dogs to try and kill rabbits.
But the lights attracted attention and a witness phoned the police, who subsequently lay in wait for Carter and his friends when they later returned to the car.
Now, in what was a rare case to be before Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, Carter, 41, of Dene Avenue, Lemington, Newcastle, has pleaded guilty to one count of entering or being on land where instruments, namely lamps, were used for the purpose of taking or destroying game there on by night.
The court heard the charge dates back to the Night Poaching Act 1828.
Paul Doney, prosecuting, said police were called at around 10.53pm on January 14 from a member of the public concerned about poachers.
He said: “Lamps were being used and land near Medburn and there was a Mitsubishi vehicle parked at the entrance of a field belonging to West Houses Farm.
“Officers attended and located the vehicle. They waited with the vehicle until the defendant returned.
“Officers interviewed him and he admitted he didn’t have permission to be on the land and said he had been on the land hunting rabbits with dogs.”
Bert Gibson, defending, said they group hadn’t actually caught anything.
He said: “They had gone out with lamps and had a whippet or two on them. They didn’t catch anything and gave-up after an hour.
“They walked back to the vehicle and the police were there.
“He’s recently had domestic difficulties and has been temporarily living with his mother.”
Carter was given a £35 fine and ordered to pay a £25 victim surcharge.
Lamping, or spotlighting, is hunting at night using powerful lamps and either guns or dogs.
The light makes the eyeshine of the animals easier to spot and they often remain to continually stare at the light and do not appear to see the light as a threat as they normally would view a human.