TWO hunters from South Tyneside have appeared in a Scottish court after they used dogs to chase and kill a deer.
Paul Reed, 26, of Halstead Place, and a 16-year-old, also from South Shields, were spared jail when they appeared at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
A third accused – 19-year-old Dane Ord, of Widdrington Avenue, Horsley Hill – failed to turn up, and a warrant was granted for his arrest.
All three admitted, while acting with a juvenile, wilfully killing a roe deer using dogs and deliberately hunting a roe deer with three dogs.
The court heard how they had travelled from their homes to Cairnmoss Farm in Reston, Berwickshire, on March 12 to carry out the hunt.
Police spotted a car parked in a gateway at around 2am and found Reed inside.
Ord and the youth were discovered a short time later with blood on their clothes, and three lurcher-type dogs were also found covered with blood and deer hairs.
Reed told officers he and his friends were there to get rabbits.
He was taken to Eyemouth police station, and when officers returned to the field they found Ord and the youth walking along a road nearby.
At an earlier hearing, Viki Welton, prosecuting, told the court there was far too much blood on the accused for it to be just rabbits.
"The carcass had puncture wounds to its neck and fleshy tears to the back end, all consistent with having been attacked by dogs," she concluded.
When Ord was re-interviewed, he admitted the dogs had attacked a deer near where they had been picked up.
The blood had come from the deer, but he said he didn't know if it was dead.
Police returned to the field at 4.30am and recovered the carcass of a roe deer concealed in woodland.
The three dogs, which belonged to the youth, are now in charity kennels.
Reed, who described hunting as his hobby since the age of 14, was sentenced to 120 hours' community service and fined 435.
The 16-year-old was placed on probation for 12 months and ordered to perform 100 hours' community service.
Both were banned from keeping dogs, within the jurisdiction, for four years.