Former Holkham Estate head gamekeeper gets conditional discharge

The case against former Holkham Estate Head Gamekeeper Nicholas Parker was finally heard yesterday at Norwich Magistrate’s Court. He was given a conditional discharge.

Several charges against him had been dropped; one of them reportedly because much of the prosecution’s evidence related to allegations from 2008 and the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 required evidence to be within two years.

The District Judge, Philip Browning, gave the conditional discharge after hearing how much Parker had already ‘suffered’, after his firearms certificate had been confiscated and because the case had been given significant public attention. Clever defence barrister. A barrister of the same name is listed as also being a Council Member of the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and an expert in firearms law here.

Court report here

Background to this story here, here, here and here

An explanation of what a conditional discharge is here

JULY 18 2011 UPDATE here

8 Responses to “Former Holkham Estate head gamekeeper gets conditional discharge”

  1. 1 D
    July 16, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Unbelievable, or is it?

  2. 2 Dave Dick
    July 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Are we really to believe that this time bar [two years] on these charges hadnt been noticed right up to the last minute…come on!!

    We will see no change in the level of illegal killing on estates until a keeper is jailed.Theres just no real deterrent. As for this man having suffered enough – I’m sure he will have had plenty of friends in the shooting world to comfort him during his painful experience…I think he will be seen as a hero to some…thats the reality out there. In my view its institutionalised crime.

    • 3 Scolopax
      July 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      Totally agree with Dick. The prosecution must have been aware of the potential for a time barred case, obviously the defence did. I don’t understand how this is allowed to happen, if it was so simple every case would be time barred due to the defence stalling at every opportunity. Surely someone can force the defence to appear early to avoid this appalling situation.

  3. 4 Moreta
    July 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    :( Makes me sick!

  4. 5 clive rees
    July 17, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    This is not a delay as a result of a defence tactic you lemon (Scolopax). The defence can’t do that. The only delays that can result in the outcome described is the prosecution failing to follow its most basic rules. Craftyfox (A defence lawyer unconnected in any way with this case).

  5. 6 Stewart Love
    July 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Unbelievable! Not really I’m afraid, just normal service from the British courts when dealing with wildlife crime.

  6. 7 Clive Rees
    July 18, 2011 at 9:51 am

    It’s NOT the courts; it’s the prosecution! Couldn’t get it’s act together. This is no-one’s fault but those who chose to prosecute the case, though I understand from others (no personal knowledge) that the case was a weak one anyway.

  7. 8 B. Stacey
    July 25, 2011 at 10:53 am

    There was no case to answer. Justice was done at the cost of persecuting a law abiding citizen and his family for months at end. A phyrric victory, but a victory nevertheless!!

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