Community work sentence for poaching deer

August 30, 2017 | By More

A community work sentence has been imposed on a Waikari man who has admitted his second poaching offence, after a deer was shot on Waiau’s Windford Hills Station.

George Stuart Aitken, a 27-year-old pest control worker, initially denied the charge but pleaded guilty at a Christchurch District Court case review hearing.

His co-offender, 54-year-old Hawarden shearer, Darrell Maurice Smith, pleaded guilty immediately and was fined $1000 in May.

But Judge Alistair Garland noted that Aitken had a significant history of offending including a previous conviction for unlawful hunting last year, when he was given a 100-hour sentence of community work.

Aitken was with Smith, who had the firearm and the licence, and a permit to hunt on Department of Conservation land, on March 29.

The pair strayed across a river boundary onto Windford Hills Station where their hunting was heard by the station’s manager who was also hunting.

The manager and his hunting companion saw the pair butchering a stag and waited to speak to them where they had left their packs.

Defence counsel Vicki Walsh said Aitken and Smith had not gone out with the intention of poaching and had no idea that they should not have been in the area where the stag was shot.

Judge Garland said he had to infer from Aitken’s guilty plea that he knew he was on the station and not on the DOC land, and had continued to hunt.

He imposed 175 hours of community work.

 

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