A gamekeeper convicted of “the worst case of bird of prey poisoning” recorded in England has been given a 10-week suspended sentence.
Allen Lambert, 65, who worked on the Stody Estate, near Holt in Norfolk, was found guilty of deliberately killing 10 buzzards and a sparrowhawk.
Head of RSPB investigations Bob Elliot said the discovery of the carcasses at Lambert’s home was “truly dreadful”.
Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard he did it to protect pheasants he was rearing.
In October Lambert, of Holt Road, Edgefield, was also found guilty of possessing pesticides and items used to prepare poison baits. He had pleaded guilty to five other charges, including the illegal use of pesticides.
District Judge Peter Veits said the offences had “crossed the custody threshold” but said his sentence would be suspended.
Lambert’s 10-week jail sentence was suspended for a year and he was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £930.
Judge Veits said: “In other industries employers as well as the employee could be facing prosecution in such cases, and I hope therefore that this case can serve as a wake-up call to all who run estates as to their duties.”