TWO poachers who were spotted hunting nocturnal animals by shining a light into their eyes have been fined.
Darlington men Craig Usher, of Park Lane and Thomas Hurman, of Rockwell Avenue, were seen lamping by Borderwatch patrol volunteers on farmland near the A1(M) at Newton Morrell, near Barton on February 20.
Northallerton Magistrates Court heard Hurman was found on a lane nearby with a lurcher dog and Usher soon appeared from a hedge nearby.
A lamp was found in the hedge a short time later.
After a light is shone in their eyes, many animals, such as foxes and rabbits, remain to stare at the light.
The pair were arrested and both were charged jointly with trespassing at night with the purpose of taking or destroying game.
Usher, 24, who was found guilty, was fined £200 for night poaching and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20, while Hurman, 20, pleaded guilty and was fined £70 for night poaching and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20.
A destruction order was also placed on the lamp.
PC John Wilbor, who runs the Borderwatch Scheme in the Richmondshire area, said: “"This case is another great example of the effectiveness of the Borderwatch scheme and how local volunteers are working with the police to help prevent and detect crime in our rural communities.
“It sends another clear message that we will take action against anyone coming to Richmondshire to commit crime.”