Man sentenced over theft of rare partridges.

Gary Danson was given a community sentence including a curfew from 8pm until 7am, put on an electronic tag, had his car confiscated and was fined £100 after pleading guilty to being in possession of the birds.

After they were stolen on 19 August last year, Danson had taken the birds to Clitheroe Auction Market to sell them on, but was caught out by community beat manager PC Kev Berry who had received information about the theft and attended the market hoping to track down the culprit.

PC Berry spotted Danson immediately at the market and on challenging him discovered the birds and arrested him.

PC Kev Berry said: “Unfortunately, Hy-Fly had been targeted previously and so I knew that the owners had used a unique way of marking the birds by clipping part of the primary flight feathers so they could be easily identified.”

The birds have since been returned to Hy-Fly.

PC Duncan Thomas, wildlife officer for Lancashire Constabulary, said: “This is a superb result, involving a number of agencies. Hy-Fly had suffered a number of thefts and measures were put in place to render the partridges identifiable, which was the key piece of evidence in the case. It’s a great example of the farming community and the police effectively targeting rural criminals.”

Talk to other readers about rural crime in our forums.