A man from Redcar and Cleveland has become the first offender in North Yorkshire to be given a Criminal Behaviour Order for poaching offences, after being found guilty of hunting wild mammals with dogs.

Ryan Thomas Spence was also handed a six-month driving ban and just over £1,000 in fines at Scarborough magistrates court. 

Spence, 32, was on private farmland with three dogs in Normanby, near Kirkbymoorside in Ryedale, shortly before 9am on February 15. Witnesses saw one of the dogs chasing a hare on the land and called the police, who attended the location and arrested Spence a short time later. Officers also seized the dogs.

Police said Spence is a prolific national offender, having previously been convicted of a number of poaching offences in North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, Norfolk and Scotland.

The Criminal Behaviour Order served to Spence prevents him from: Trespassing on any land with a dog, firearm, or any item capable of firing a projectile; Straying from any highway, bridleway, or public right of way onto any land; Driving, or being in, a motor vehicle or mechanically propelled vehicle other than on a publicly maintained road without written permission of the landowner; Being part of a group involved in the hunting of any wild mammals with dogs or firearms or any items capable of firing a projectile.

Inspector Clive Turner from the Rural Task Force said: “Ryan Spence has caused significant harm to our rural communities over a number of years, and I’m pleased he has now faced the courts and we have been successful in having the Criminal Behaviour Order granted.

“Poaching is a serious offence, it damages local businesses, economies and communities.

“I encourage anyone who sees any suspicious activity in our rural areas to report it to the police. Even if you are not sure whether or not crime is being committed, your information might just be the missing piece of the jigsaw we need to bring offenders like Spence to justice.

“Please dial 101, press 1 and pass information to our control room. If you see a crime being committed ring 999."