Duo convicted of disrupting legal shoot

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Police have welcomed the conviction of a man and woman who disrupted a legal shoot in north east Fife.

Kevin Newell and Florence Blackbourn were convicted convicted of aggravated trespass at Dundee Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

They will be sentenced at a later date.

The incident happened on Saturday, December 10, when the protesters attended a local shooting estate with the intention of disrupting a legal shoot.

The pair intimidated a member of staff and ignored advice in relation to public safety, legalities of pheasant shooting and the impact their behaviour.

The protesters then disrupted the event by running close to the gun lines and through woodland where the pheasants were located.

The matter was reported to police and Newell and Blackbourn were identified, arrested and charged.

Detective Constable Lindsay Kerr, Wildlife Officer for Fife Division, said: “We understand that pheasant shooting is an emotive issue, however this is no excuse for any offence being committed.

“Everyone has the right to protest, but they do not have the right disrupt legal activity and intimidate those involved.

“Newell and Blackbourn showed no respect for both legal activities and public safety when undertaking this activity. They made this frightening experience for those involved and jeopardise the safety of everyone there, including themselves.

“Police Scotland will always take action against those who hinder the legal activities of others. Those wishing to hold legal demonstrations can do so by liaising with local officers and making proper applications through local government.”