Criminal proceedings continued today with hearing #9 in the case against Scottish gamekeeper George Mutch, of Kildrummy Estate, Aberdeenshire.
We understand that Mutch is pleading not guilty to a suite of charges for offences alleged to have taken place in August 2012. The charges come under Section 5 (subsection 1B) of the Wildlife & Countryside Act (relating to the use of a trap for the purpose of taking or killing wild birds) and Section 1 (subsection 1A) of the W&CA (relating to the killing, injuring or taking of wild birds).
Today’s hearing was supposed to be the last intermediate diet before the trial, which had been due to start on 28th May 2014. However, at today’s hearing, a further intermediate diet was announced (24th September 2014!!!) with a new trial date set for 22nd October 2014. Marvellous.
If the trial does go ahead in October 2014 (and it may not, depending on the outcome of the Sept intermediate diet), it will have been over two years since the alleged offences took place.
Here’s a chronology of the hearing dates in this case:
11th September 2013 (case opened)
2nd October 2013 (hearing #2)
30th October 2013 (hearing #3)
27th November 2013 (hearing #4)
17th December 2013 (hearing #5)
17th March 2014 (hearing #6)
2nd April 2014 (hearing #7)
16th April 2014 (hearing #8)
13th May 2014 (hearing #9)