TWO men have been fined hundreds of pounds after being caught hare coursing in North Yorkshire.

On the afternoon of Saturday January 23, 2021, a vigilant member of the public called police to report that poachers were chasing hares with a dog in a field near Chapel Haddlesey, Selby.

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North Yorkshire Police officers attended immediately.

The suspects made off from the area in a Honda CR-V, and in the process drove through a red light.

Officers followed them, and stopped them in South Milford, where they were both arrested, and their dog and car seized.

They were charged, and both appeared at Harrogate Magistrates Court on Monday this week.

Thomas Agar McDonald, 33, from Stokesley, and John Alan Langan, 35, from Great Ayton, both pleaded guilty to hunting a wild mammal with dogs.

McDonald also admitted an offence of failing to comply with a traffic sign.

McDonald was fined £239 for the hunting offence, as well as £100 and three points for going through the red light.

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Langan was fined £239 for the hunting, a forfeiture order was placed on the dog, and he was disqualified for five years from owning, keeping or being in control of dog.

Sergeant Rob Campbell said: “Tackling rural crime is a priority to North Yorkshire Police.

"I hope this serves as a message to individuals who think it’s acceptable to travel to our area to commit crime, that it won’t be tolerated by us or the communities we serve.”

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