Pathetic fine for convicted poisoner

poisonsignlPaul Unsworth, a 48-year-old pigeon fancier from Sunderland has pleaded guilty to three charges of illegally using and storing the highly toxic and banned pesticide, Carbofuran.

His sentence? A £200 fine for each offence. Seriously, it’s got to be time to bring in mandatory and hard-hitting sentences for these offences, hasn’t it? What deterrent is a £200 quid fine?

Well done to Northumbria Police, Natural England and RSPB Investigations Team for at least securing the conviction today at Newcastle Crown Court, despite an astonishingly pathetic fine from the judge.

Full details of what poisoner Paul Unsworth (of Newbold Avenue, Monkwearworth) got up to can be read here.

 It had previously been reported that he was initially charged with four offences relating to the alleged possession of Carbofuran between December 2006 and February 2012 (see here).

7 Responses to “Pathetic fine for convicted poisoner”

  1. 1 Derek Canning LLB [hons]
    April 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Shocking I would have sent him to jail.

  2. April 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Just as a thought on the relevance of such fines set against the cost of the banned substances involved! Does anyone have a rough idea what the cost of getting a supply of Carbufuran would be? I suspect it might now be high , but used not to be, but I could be wrong.. BUT, if the current cost is low, what sort of message does this pitiful fine communicate. Low cost , low fine for possession, what sort of deterrent is that!

    This whole situation is beginning to be absolutely bizarre!! And set against all this, what was the cost of imposing this pitiful fine?

    • 4 nirofo
      April 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      I think there’s so much Carbofuran and other banned nasty substances out there still widely available to anyone who really wants it that cost doesn’t come into it. There may be some trading between keepers and others, but generally I think it’s easily obtained without much effort. Judging by the number of poisoning cases we hear about, and they are just the very tip of the iceberg, just about every keeper in the country is still using it. Says a lot for the law of this land when banned poisonous substances are allowed to be used willy-nilly without a care for endangered species or any other wild and domestic life. The people responsible for ensuring these lawbreakers are swiftly brought to justice and sentenced, with sufficient deterrent to make them think twice before breaking the law again, should be totally ashamed of themselves for their wilful neglect.

  3. 5 Ian Rubery
    April 12, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Could it be that sometimes judges are “set up”?

  4. 6 Ian L Rubery
    April 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Just a point regarding your data recording of comments: does your clock need resetting to British Summer Time (or has Scotland gone independent already? Regards, Ian Rubery ianrubery@mypostoffice.co.uk

  5. April 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I agree, this person should have been sent to jail, what kind of deterrent is that fine? Sad….

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