13th February 2019

Thames Valley Police bat crime conviction

On Wednesday 6th February 2019 Mr Piara Singh SEHAJPAL pleaded guilty at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court to two charges of destroying bat roosts. The first charge related to the destruction of a brown long eared roost and the second a common pipistrelle roost.

This is yet another case of a developer ignoring lawful process. Although initial surveys confirmed the presence of the roosts no emergence surveys were undertaken. Some considerable time after the first survey the property was visited. The buildings hosting the roosts were found to have been demolished.

BCT provided advice and assistance to the police in their investigation including the provision of a conservation impact statement. Unusually Mr SEHAJPAL pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity and was fined £500 on each charge along with a victim surcharge of £50 and £85 costs. We were unable to attend the hearing, as such we are unaware of the mitigation put forward in his defence.

To our knowledge this is the first case of bat crime investigated by Thames Valley Police that has ever been prosecuted. Our thanks to those who reported the matter and were prepared to act as witnesses, along with those involved in the investigation and prosecution of the case.

Further information about Bat Crime Investigations Project is available HERE.

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