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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 December, 2004, 17:51 GMT
Court upholds gamekeeper penalty
Cripps destroyed the goshawk's eggs and nest
A Derbyshire gamekeeper found guilty of persecuting rare birds in the Peak District has lost his appeal against a three month suspended prison sentence.

John Cripps, 60, of Ronksley, was convicted in February of destroying the eggs of the rare Goshawk.

After a three-day hearing, Derby Crown Court upheld the original sentence - which is suspended for two years.

The RSPB said the decision sent a strong message to those engaged in this sort of activity.

Warning shot

Cripps told a wildlife officer too many of the birds were attacking grouse.

Roy Taylor, regional conservation manager for the RSPB, said it was important the courts took such crimes seriously.

He said: "We think it is just the tip of the iceberg. A lot of birds of prey have disappeared from their former haunts in the Peak District.

"We are hoping this will send a warning shot to people who are out there trying to persecute birds of prey.

"It says 'If you do persecute birds of prey, you will be caught'."

Bird nest thefts at record UK low
12 Oct 04 |  Science/Nature
Guilty gamekeeper avoids prison
25 Feb 04 |  Derbyshire

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