Wild Justice Raptor Forensic Fund helps secure conviction of buzzard-killing gamekeeper John Orrey

Gamekeeper John Orrey, 63, of Hall Farm, Kneeton, Nottinghamshire was sentenced today at Nottingham Magistrates Court (see here) after being convicted of the following 5 x wildlife crime and 4 x firearms charges:

• Possession of two dead stock doves.

• Intentionally killing a common buzzard on 8/1/21

• Intentionally killing a common buzzard on 9/1/21

• Using a cage trap to kill or take a wild bird

• Possession of an article (slash hook) capable of being used to commit an offence

• Failure to comply with condition of shotgun certificate (weapon not securely stored)

• Failure to comply with condition of firearms certificate (ammunition not securely stored)

• Failure to comply with condition of firearms certificate (weapons and ammunition not securely stored)

• Possessing ammunition for a firearm without a certificate

Photo of John Orrey from BBC News

In relation to the killing of the buzzards, for each bird he received an 18-week suspended sentence to run concurrently and a £500 fine for each bird. He was also ordered to pay £650 costs and £50 victim surcharge, and £180 compensation to the Raptor Forensics Fund established by Wild Justice in 2020.

Our fund was used to pay for the cost of two post mortems on the Stock Doves found dead inside Orrey’s trap – they had both been shot (this is illegal as they’re a protected species). We’re delighted that Nottinghamshire Police were able to access this fund to help during the preliminary investigation into Orrey’s crimes and we’re even more delighted to hear that the District Judge ordered Orrey to pay a compensation fee covering the full amount. This money will go directly to the Raptor Forensic Fund to be recycled on another case.

This is the second conviction that our Raptor Forensics Fund has helped secure. The first one was gamekeeper Hilton Prest who was found guilty in December 2021 of the unlawful use of a trap (see here).

Thank you to all those who contributed to our Raptor Forensics Fund and thanks also to the PAW Forensic Working Group (a sub-group of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime) who administer our fund and ensure that police officers can access it without delay to help progress their investigations into raptor persecution crimes.