A MAN has pleaded guilty to a host of rural crime offences after a number of dead birds were found at his address.

Paul Scott Allen, whose address was given as Baileys Hill, in Brockington, near Wimborne, appeared before Weymouth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, January 4 where he pleaded guilty to seven offences.

The court heard the charges were brought after an extensive investigation by police ‘over a number of years’. The investigation started in November 2020 when a dead kite was found and, close to it, a dead rat. Toxicology reports found that the rat was ‘laced with poison’ which, prosecutors said, was likely in order to deliberately kill the kite.

Police subsequently executed a warrant at Allen's address and found a shotgun that was behind a door and loaded. They also found rounds of ammunition - neither of which were covered by the gamekeeper’s firearms licenses.

Subsequent searches located a ‘fire in the yard’ and a number of dead birds - including six buzzards and ‘parts’ of three further buzzards. Further ‘remains’ of birds were also discovered.

Regulated toxins - including Strychnine, a highly toxic pesticide often used to kill birds and rodents - were found on Allen’s premises.

Ms Valera, prosecuting, said the findings ‘showed a pattern in how (Allen) works’.

In mitigation, it was said that Allen had no previous convictions and had ‘suffered a great deal’ at the time of offences. The court was told Allen’s wife had passed away after a long-term illness and that Allen had two children.

Allen’s defence barrister said the 54 year old had ‘made mistakes’ but ‘there was a lot going on in (his) life’.

Dorset Echo: Paul Scott AllenPaul Scott Allen (Image: BNPS)

Allen pleaded guilty to seven offences: two counts of possessing a live or dead bird, or parts thereof, one charge of failing to comply with the conditions of a shotgun certificate, one charge of failing to comply with the conditions of a firearms certificate, one count of possessing a regulated substance without a license, one count of failing to comply with  regulations in accordance with the Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012 and one charge of contravening a health and safety regulations.

Charges of killing a wild bird, keeping a wild bird in a small cage and taking a wild bird were all dropped by prosecutors.

The case was adjourned until Thursday, February 16 at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court for a pre-sentence report to be produced.