Three men have been convicted of poaching offences after they were caught shooting game illegally.

In January of this year, police received a report that three men were spotted in possession of a firearm, and were using it to shoot grouse illegally on moorland close to Lockwood Beck near Guisborough.

Officers immediately attended the area and detained the three men on suspicion of poaching offences.

A search was conducted by the officers and a firearm was located along with a number of shot grouse. All three were later interviewed in relation to the incident.

Read more: Albanian cannabis farmer caught with 83 plants in Thornaby

The Northern Echo:

Get the latest news, sports, and entertainment delivered straight to your device by subscribing to The Northern Echo here

This month, the criminal trio appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, where they all pleaded guilty to a string of poaching offences.

Mohammed Salek, 40 of Highfield Road, Middlesbrough was fined £150 and was ordered to pay £520 in compensation, Sirous Alizadeh, 37 of Belle Vue Grove, Middlesbrough, was fined £333 and was ordered to pay £520 in compensation and Corey Mount, 25 of Marton Burn Road, Middlesborough, was fined £100 and was ordered to pay £540 in compensation.

All three were also ordered to pay court costs and a victim surcharge. Over the last 12 months, all Response officers and control room staff have received rural crime training which covers poaching, wildlife crime and rural acquisitive crime.

This training has significantly increased the knowledge base across Cleveland Police with the force also recently training four wildlife crime officers who are specialists in this area.

Read more: 

Acting Inspector Rory Sadler, who is the force’s operational lead for rural crime, said: “These convictions demonstrate the commitment of Cleveland Police to deal robustly with those who commit crimes in our rural areas.

“Force-wide training has taken place meaning staff now have the knowledge to back that commitment up. I would like to express my gratitude in this case to the investigating officer PC Dan Hardey for conducting such a thorough investigation which has led to these convictions.”

The police have said that information from the public is "invaluable", and have requested that anyone who sees anything suspicious contact Cleveland Police on 101 with any information or concerns.