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Ex-keeper escapes jail

Last September Burden was given a similar sentence after he was convicted of wildlife crimes. During his trial evidence was presented of Burden’s diary which suggested he had killed 102 buzzards, 40 badgers and 37 ravens on the estate in a year. During its investigations on the estate, the RSPB also found a pole trap set to attract birds of prey. Pole traps were banned for that reason in 1904.

Venton was given a sentence including 250 hours’ community service and £2,000 costs. The chairman of the magistrates Russell Thomas told him that his crime was in his failure to stop Burden’s actions: “You were in a position of authority and you failed to exercise that authority appropriately. We are entirely satisfied that you had adequate knowledge of these matters and you failed to intervene to prevent them.”

The rest of this article appears in 8 January issue of Shooting Times.

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