19
Jul
16

Vicarious liability prosecution: Andrew Duncan (Newlands Estate) part 8

scales-of-justiceCriminal proceedings continued on 15 July 2016 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). Mr Dick was sentenced in September 2015 and was given a £2000 fine (see here). Mr Dick attempted to appeal his conviction but this was refused on 15 July 2016 (see here).

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. November 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.

Hearing #6 (3rd June 2016): Case adjourned, pending the result of gamekeeper Billy Dick’s appeal. Another notional diet scheduled for 17th June 2016.

Hearing #7 (17th June 2016): Case adjourned, pending the result of gamekeeper Billy Dick’s appeal. Another notional diet scheduled for 15th July 2016.

Hearing #8 (15 July 2016): Case adjourned. Another notional diet scheduled for 2 August 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 and a half 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).

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7 Responses to “Vicarious liability prosecution: Andrew Duncan (Newlands Estate) part 8”


  1. July 19, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Newlands Estate? Is that the internationally recognised and accredited standard-bearing, trust us we are the good guys, nothing bad will ever happen here… estate… surely not?

  2. 4 Nimby
    July 19, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Being watched with interest south of the border I’d imagine, particularly given the our ambitions for VL in England?

  3. 5 chris lock
    July 20, 2016 at 6:03 am

    About time vicarious liability was implemented, these land owners and keeper’s employees know exactly what they are up to.

  4. 6 Tony Warburton MBE
    July 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Let’s see what transpires before we rejoice prematurely. While it is potentially good news, I for one have lost faith in the Scottish judiciary and the CPS.


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