Criminal proceedings continued yesterday against landowner Andrew Walter Bryce Duncan, who is alleged to be vicariously liable for the crimes committed by gamekeeper William (Billy) Dick in April 2014.
Gamekeeper Dick was convicted in August 2015 of killing a buzzard on the Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire by striking it with rocks and repeatedly stamping on it (see here). Dick was sentenced in September 2015 and was given a £2000 fine (see here), although he is appealing his conviction.
Here’s a quick review of the proceedings against Andrew Duncan so far:
Hearing #1 (18th August 2015): Trial date set for 23rd Nov 2015, with an intermediate diet scheduled for 20th Oct 2015.
Hearing #2 (20th October 2015): Case adjourned. Nov trial date dumped. Notional diet hearing (where a trial date may be set) scheduled for 18th January 2016.
Hearing #3 (18th January 2016): Case adjourned. Another notional diet & debate scheduled for 11th March 2016.
Hearing #4 (11th March 2016): Case adjourned, pending the result of gamekeeper Billy Dick’s appeal. Another notional diet scheduled for 4th April 2016.
Hearing #5 (4th April 2016): Case adjourned, pending the result of gamekeeper Billy Dick’s appeal. Another notional diet scheduled for 3rd June 2016.
Vicarious liability in relation to the persecution of raptors in Scotland (where one person may potentially be legally responsible for the criminal actions of another person working under their supervision) came in to force four years ago on 1st January 2012. To date there have been two successful convictions: one in December 2014 (see here) and one in December 2015 (see here). One further case did not reach the prosecution stage due, we believe, to the difficulties associated with identifying the management structure on the estate where the crimes were committed (see here).