14th January 2014
On Tuesday 7th January 2014 Keith Seed, aged 56, a property developer from Hartwith, in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire appeared before Harrogate Magistrates Court charged with two offences of destroying two bat roosts. He was fined a total of £3500 with £85 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.
The offences relate to development work being undertaken on a derelict barn near Harrogate where survey work had revealed the presence of both brown long-eared and common pipistrelle roosts. Mr Seed had been made aware of the survey results but nevertheless the roof of the barn was removed with both roosts being destroyed.
Mr Seed was described in court documents as a 'very experienced developer' who 'should have been aware of restrictions in force but proceeded without proper regard or checking with anyone'.
BCT is grateful for the work undertaken by both the investigating officer PC Bill Hickson of North Yorkshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, Yorkshire and Humberside region.
Pete Charleston, Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) Investigations Officer says:
"The last case of bat-crime prosecuted by the CPS in this area resulted in derisory penalties. We believe that this case does much to redress the balance, demonstrating that crime does not pay and that Wildlife Crime will be prosecuted."
BCT assisted both agencies with the provision of a conservation impact statement and other information.
BCTs Bat Crime statistics and information on bats and the law can be found here:
Bats and the law/Bats and plannng:
Bat Crime Report 2012 is the most recent full report: http://www.bats.org.uk/publications_detail.php/1283/bat_crime_annual_report_2012
Contact: Joe Nunez firstname.lastname@example.org or 02078207183 for more information, images and interviews.
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