Who owns Kildrummy Estate?

KeyholeFollowing yesterday’s news that Kildrummy Estate gamekeeper George Mutch has been jailed for four months for his raptor-killing criminal activities, a common question we’ve heard is, ‘Will there now be a vicarious liability prosecution?’

We think that there is the potential for a prosecution, although obviously we’re not privy to any evidence that the Crown might have available when they make a decision whether to proceed or not. We’ll just have to be patient and see what happens.

Let’s assume the Crown does decide that there is sufficient evidence to proceed, and that it would be in the public interest to prosecute, then the question becomes, ‘Who would be charged?’

That will depend on who was in the chain of command above Mutch and what managerial responsibilities they had at the time he committed his crimes (see here for our interpretation of how vicarious liability works). For example, if there was a Head Gamekeeper then perhaps he/she might be the one charged. If there was an Estate Factor then perhaps he/she might be the one charged. Perhaps there wasn’t anyone in a hierarchical managerial role between Mutch and the landowner, in which case, the landowner may be the one charged. But in this case, that might be a bit difficult.

Why? Have a read of Andy Wightman’s brilliant blog here and you’ll understand!


12 Responses to “Who owns Kildrummy Estate?”

  1. 1 Tony Warburton MBE
    January 13, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Is that what they call ‘covering your tracks’? It feels like ‘Ground Hog Day’!!!

  2. 2 jason fisher
    January 14, 2015 at 8:12 am

    it helps the land owners avoid paying tax on the massive subsidies that they receive from our taxes

  3. 3 Dougie
    January 14, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Andy Wightman’s informative piece on the Scottish Gov’s land proposals is worth a read:-

    Some welcome aims in there including transparency of land ownership.

  4. January 14, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Are the directors of all these companies listed by Andy not liable for all the actions of each subsidiary?

    • 5 Marco McGinty
      January 14, 2015 at 11:38 am

      That’s how it should be approached in a VL case.

    • 6 JB
      January 14, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      Andy has mentioned that in a comment:

      >Jersey company law only obliges public companies to disclose the identity of Directors. All these companies are private. We have no idea who the Directors are.

  5. 7 Merlin
    January 14, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    get the lot of them on joint enterprise and hang them high

  6. 8 crypticmirror
    January 14, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Seize it on behalf of the nation, see who squeals. Then prosecute them.

  7. 9 Circus maxima
    January 14, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Just prosecute the “company”, a corporate body can behave criminally. Once the company has been found guilty of criminal behaviour… what does Jersey law say about directors who instruct the company to behave illegally?

  8. 10 Bergerac
    January 15, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Perhaps one straightforward way to ascertain who is in charge at Kildrummy Estate would be for the Police to record all who enter and exit the premises either via establishing roadblocks or surveillance cameras. Arresting and interviewing each of these people should readily expose the individual(s) who can be charged.

    • 11 Alex Milne
      January 15, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      I don’t think there is any need for that. After the conviction of George Mutch on 11th December, the police should have done 2 things:
      1. Entered George Mutch’s house, if necessary with a warrant and removed his guns.
      2. Entered the estate office, if necessary with a warrant, in order to determine:
      a. The order of seniority and written contracts for those owning and in positions of authority in the whole estate at the time of George Mutch’s offences to determine numbers and names of those who should be charged with vicarious liability. If these could not be readily answered with written evidence, the office paperwork and computers should have been seized.
      b. The instructions which George Mutch had at the time of the offences, and his training which would support any claim that he was acting outwith his orders at that time.
      The fact that the offences occurred should have been sufficient proof in December that a vicarious liability offence was committed to allow a warrant to be obtained.under 2 and the seize guns under 1.
      Do I believe that these have happened? 1 perhaps, 2 naah. I have little faith in the police.

      • 12 Circus maxima
        January 16, 2015 at 8:24 am

        We would all like to know the persons behind the whole scam but in the Law, the estate is owned by a company and that company is a legal entity which can be prosecuted. Knowing the names of the share holders is not necessary (hopefully it will come out), go after the company first…before its too late.

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