Three hare coursers who trashed a Cambridgeshire farmer’s sugar beet crop have been hit with fines totalling more than £1,000.
Jimmy Cole, 43, Chase Loveridge, 36, and Levi Cole, 20, were spotted driving a silver Land Rover across a field near Cambridge Road, in Fowlmere, at about midday on 24 September.
Officers from Cambridgeshire Police’s rural crime action team (RCAT) boxed the car in near the junction with the A505.
The five-seat car was overloaded with the three men, three children and three dogs.
Jimmy Cole, the driver, denied hare coursing and claimed he had driven to the area from Surrey to “walk the dog”.
The three men were issued with community protection notices and told to leave the area.
Officers returned to the field and found the trashed crops where the men had driven straight through the middle and ignored a number of no vehicles signs.
The damage caused to the sugar beet was estimated to cost the farmer about £500.
The men were sentenced at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 20 January.
Jimmy Cole, of Lyne Road, Surrey, admitted criminal damage, daytime trespass in pursuit of game and using a motor vehicle dangerously.
He was ordered to pay £500 compensation to the farmer, fined an additional £500 and three penalty points were added to his licence.
Loveridge, of Guildford Road, Surrey, and Levi Cole, of Lyne Road, Surrey, admitted daytime trespass in pursuit of game and were handed £300 fines.
DC Tom Nuttall, from the RCAT, said: “These men showed complete disregard for the farmer by driving over his crops and damaging his livelihood, all to try and escape from police with an overloaded car.
“We will continue to do all we can and use whatever methods possible to disrupt and deter hare coursers in Cambridgeshire.”