Deer poacher fined $1000

A man caught butchering a stag that had been shot on private property admitted the poaching charge, and was fined in the Christchurch District Court.

Darrell Maurice Smith, a 53-year-old shearer, and an alleged co-offender, George Stuart Aitken, a 26-year-old pest control worker, were charged with killing a deer on Windford Hills Station, Waiau, North Canterbury, without the permission of the land-owner.

Defence counsel for Smith, Claire Yardley, said Smith had permission to be on DOC land, but went over the other side of the river and didn’t know he was on private land. He didn’t have a map, and didn’t know where the station started and stopped, she said.

Sergeant Glen Pascoe said the manager of the station was hunting on March 29 when he heard gunshots clearly within the boundary, and called police.

Judge John Macdonald said he accepted Smith was unclear about the status of the land he was on, and fined him $1000.

Aitken was given a registrar’s remand to May 30 to apply for legal aid, so did not need to appear in the court room.

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