Gonshaw: banned from Scotland for life (during breeding season)

Top, top, top news! Serial egg collector, Matthew Simon Gonshaw, has today been jailed for his latest egg-theft crimes but more importantly, he has been banned from entering Scotland during the bird breeding season, FOR LIFE!

Gonshaw, recently the recipient of an ASBO giving him a ten-year ban from Scotland, was also sentenced to six months in jail (his 5th jail term!) after he was caught nicking bird eggs off the Isle of Rum last year.

BBC news release here

COPFS press release here

Well done to everyone involved and massive kudos to Sheriff Margaret Neilson at Inverness Sheriff Court for finally delivering a decent sentence for a persistent wildlife crime offender. Now let’s see if other Sheriffs can start to follow suit…

Previous Gonshaw posts here, here and here.


10 Responses to “Gonshaw: banned from Scotland for life (during breeding season)”

  1. 1 slider
    May 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Get rid of Sheriff Drummond from the PAW group and put in Sheriff Neilson instead.

  2. 2 Chris Roberts
    May 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Great outcome! Maybe with a few more Sheriff Margaret Neilson’s the future doesn’t seem so bleak.

  3. 3 John McAree
    May 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Result…..And a bit of decent news in a week thats generally been blighted by raptor killings.

    Any idea how we go about spreading a rumour in the jail that he’s a Beast? Just to make his 6 months really unpleasant, like……..

  4. 4 nirofo
    May 12, 2012 at 1:32 am

    It’s a pity we can’t get similar justice for the Raptor persecutors and wildlife poisoners.

  5. 5 Red
    May 12, 2012 at 8:18 am

    love your thinking John, he should be tagged during the breeding season, to safeguard the birds elsewhere.

  6. 6 Pip
    May 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Well – good newa I suppose – but do we really think it will make any difference to this guy (his 5th jail term!). This is a seriously disturbed person – either that or this is how he makes a living. Just how is a ban from Scotland enforceable in any case? It’s not like there are border controls and with all due respect I can’t see him being that high on the average policeman’s radar. Frontal lobotomy perhaps?

    In all seriousness – this is not going to deter this guy however pleased we are at the moment.

    • 7 Dougie
      May 13, 2012 at 10:30 am

      Unfortunately you are probably correct. I expect that he will resume his activities at the first opportunity.
      The jail sentence may have served as a deterent to others was it not for the fact that the likelihood of detection and conviction are so slim.
      However, congratulations to all involved in catching, convicting and sentencing this criminal.

  7. 8 mullraptors
    May 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Great result – just a thought though – why doesn’t the court make Mr Gonshaw and his like to serve their jail sentences during the breeding season?!

    • 9 Tony Warburton MBE
      May 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      Hey, come on folks, this is a great result and ‘all hail’ to Sherriff Neilson. At last, we have a Sherriff with teeth who cares. We have been crying out for such a result and this is the first chink of light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Like you I wonder how this ban can work in reality – but looking at his handsome features he is pretty identifiable and I think we can rest assured that as long as we can get the other apparently spinelesss Sherriffs to follow the Neilson example, I think we can guarantee the sentences will get longer and more meaningful each time this ‘sicko’ gets caught, and at least the myriad other ‘baddies’ (or at least those who can read!!!) will be thinking a bit harder I suspect. Now let us see the same sort of sentencing for wealthy grouse moor owners who turns a blind eye to (or order) raptor persecution on their land. In the meantime, raise your glass and rejoice. This is a breakthrough.

      • May 15, 2012 at 6:44 am

        Agree with you, Tony. If Gonshaw breaks the terms of either of his two ASBOs he faces a return to jail for five years. Going on his track record it seems quite likely that he’ll re-offend, whatever sentence he’s given, so we could soon be shot of him for five years. The sentence also sends a strong message from the judiciary, which is long long long overdue. The use of the ASBO sets an interesting precedent and one that could be put to good use against other wildlife criminals…

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