Category Archives: wild rabbits

Poole, Dorset: Scott Cochrane

#TheList serial wildlife persecutor Scott Matthew Cochrane, born 09/11/1989, of 4 Yarrow Close, Poole BH12 4FL – found with dead rabbits, lurcher-type dogs and steel ball bearings

Scott Matthew Cochrane from Poole routinely hunts wild animals with dogs

Repeat offender Cochrane was back in court after breaching a five-year criminal behaviour order imposed in September 2015 after a video of him pulling the head off a live wood pigeon was uploaded to Facebook. He admitted being in possession of a wild animal and for hunting a wild mammal with a dog, an offence under Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004.

Cochrane, whose Facebook account is riddled with boasts about his ‘kills’, is now prohibited from entering many rural areas in Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire. The areas include south of the A35 in the Purbeck and Dorchester area, rural northeast Dorset up to the M4 corridor in north Wiltshire and parts of the New Forest in Hampshire.

Scott Matthew Cochrane from Poole routinely hunts wild animals with dogs

This will prevent him from using routes such as the A338 from Ringwood into Wiltshire, A354 from Puddletown to Salisbury and A350 from Wimborne to parts of Wiltshire, which all feature in hotspots for such rural crime.

At 11.41pm on Saturday October 5, 2019, officers were called to a rural location in the Blandford area in relation to suspected poaching in fields. They located a van and saw two men – one of whom was the defendant.

There were two lurcher-type dogs with them and they had a high powered lamp. They were also found to be carrying dead rabbits. A search of their vehicle located a catapult and steel ball bearings, as well as further dead rabbits.

The new criminal behaviour order will last for three years.

Cochrane must not:

• Act or incite others to behave in an anti-social manner, that is to say a manner that causes harassment, alarm or distress to any persons.

• Use or incite others to use threatening, intimidating, insulting or abusive words or behaviour in any place to which the public has access.

• Be in possession of a wild animal, wild bird or part of a wild animal or bird living or dead.

• Be in possession of a catapult or shot, such as ball bearings, or to be in a vehicle with a catapult or such shot in a place to which the public have access or private land as a trespasser.

• Allow a dog under his control off a lead, except on private land with the land owners written permission.

• Be in a vehicle with a dog traditionally used for the purpose of hare and deer coursing, such as a Lurcher, Greyhound, Saluki, or a cross breed of these varieties unless travelling to an emergency vets appointment.

• Own dogs traditionally used for the purposes of hare and deer coursing such as Lurchers, Greyhounds, Saluki or a cross breed of these varieties.

Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, Rural Crime Co-ordinator for Dorset Police, said: “Coursing with dogs and poaching is a national priority for both rural and wildlife crime and there are many repeat victims across the UK.

“This issue is not about ‘one for the pot’ but part of a network of persistent criminals who will threaten and intimidate our rural communities if challenged and cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to crops, gates and other property.

“They train their dogs on rabbits, hares and even on deer, with no regard for the welfare of wildlife or their dogs and they are willing to travel vast distances into other counties.

“Dorset Police is part of the national strategy between 22 police forces, Operation Galileo, where civil and criminal powers will be used to prevent such offending by hare coursers and protect vulnerable victims.

“I hope this sends a clear message that coursing and other such crimes are not tolerated and we will take robust action against anyone suspected of such an offence.

“This now varied order is a first of its kind for rural crime, in that it bans the defendant from large areas of rural land across three counties and it restricts his ownership of certain dog breeds and cross breeds.”

Sentencing: eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Victim surcharge of £122 and £85 costs. The other man was given a caution. Three-year criminal behaviour order.

Southern Daily Echo

Eastbourne/Polegate, East Sussex: Tyler Earwaker and Liam Smith

#TheList Tyler Rhys Earwaker, born c. 2000, of 32 Shalfleet Close, Eastbourne BN23 8DU & Liam Smith, c. 1999, of 43 Kensington Way, Polegate BN26 6FH – laughed as they set packs of dogs on captured wild rabbits

Convicted animal abusers Liam Smith (left) and Tyler Earwaker from East Sussex, UK
Convicted animal abusers Liam Smith (left) and Tyler Earwaker are only banned from keeping rabbits.

Earwaker pleaded guilty to six offences and Smith pleaded guilty to two. The pair were prosecuted by the RSPCA following an investigation which included examination of horrific mobile phone footage.

Animal abuser Liam Smith of Polegate, East Sussex, with friend Bobby King
Liam Smith (right) with friend and fellow persecutor of wildlife Bobby King. As far as we know King was not involved in this particular act of animal cruelty but his FB page contains several photos of animals he has killed, sometimes with a catapult.

RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport launched the investigation in May 2019 following a tip-off. She said, “When we checked [their] phones we found lots of videos of Earwaker and Smith releasing captured wild rabbits and setting their dogs on them.

“Some of the videos show the chase taking place across fields while others take place in fenced areas such as a basketball court and a children’s playground meaning the rabbits had no real chance of escape.

“It’s really upsetting to watch the footage and the rabbits must have been extremely distressed before being released. The chase would have been terrifying for them and the manner in which they were killed would have resulted in unnecessary suffering.”

The videos show the pair encouraging the dogs to chase down the rabbits – some of which are clearly in shock – and in one case the rabbits are kicked and thrown onto the ground.

Convicted animal abuser Tyler Earwaker of Eastbourne, East Sussex
Tyler Earwaker

A warrant was executed by police on May 14 at an address in Eastbourne. RSPCA officers joined police and a number of mobile phones were seized.

Five dogs were found at the premises – belonging to Earwaker’s family – and the RSPCA said all appeared in good condition. A number of hutches and cages were located in the garden, some with ferrets inside.

Inspector Lamport said, “We found long hunting nets, often used for catching animals, and a number of animal carriers in the shed and Earwaker told me he used the large trap for rabbits, using carrots as bait.

“Some of his coats were bloodstained and a number of phones and an iPad were seized.”

Four dogs – two lurchers and two terriers – were seized by police and Earwaker was interviewed.

Convicted animal abuser Tyler Earwaker of Eastbourne, East Sussex
Earwaker with his mummy

Inspector Lamport later received a call from Smith’s father claiming one of the dogs seized belonged to him.

She said, “Mr Smith told me he’d bought the terrier for his son, We discovered that his son, Liam Smith, had been going out with Earwaker rabbiting and ferreting.

“They were catching rabbits and ‘dropping’ them in front of their dogs for the dogs to chase in order to train the dogs they thought the latter was legal.”

The court determined the four dogs should be returned to their owners.

Earwaker – 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work. He was disqualified from keeping rabbits for five years and ordered to pay £300 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

Smith – 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work. He was disqualified from keeping rabbits for five years and ordered to pay £300 costs and £85 victim surcharge.