The Borders procurator fiscal confirmed on 30 May 2006 that no charges under the Protection of Wild Mammals etc (Scotland) Act 2002 would be brought against Trevor Adams, Master of the Buccleuch Hunt, in respect of an incident that took place near Eccles, Kelso, on 10 October 2005 (see No 526).  Earlier in the month, the first conviction under the Act had been obtained against Andrew Barron (17) of Hawick.  While out rabbit-shooting at Courthill Farm on 12 March 2005, Barron unleashed his lurcher to pursue four deer after they broke cover ahead of him.  When another passer-by shouted at him, Barron re-leashed his dog, which had not caught any of the deer.  Sheriff Kevin Drummond deferred sentence for six months, describing the offence as at the lower end of the scale.  While the League against Cruel Sports proclaimed the conviction as showing that the 2002 Act was not after all unenforceable, Scots Law News can’t help feeling that Mr Barron is not the sort of target at which the Act was aimed.



The dispute between the Scottish Executive and the legal profession about criminal legal aid rates intensified on 2 June 2006, when the Glasgow Bar Association decided not to represent sex offender accused in court unless rates were increased.  The significance of this move, which will begin on 1 August, is that sex offenders must be represented for a trial to proceed, since they are not allowed to cross-examine their alleged victims in court.  There is accordingly the possibility that the accused will be set free un-tried, although it is also possible that the court will appoint a representative, who will presumably not be a member of the Glasgow Bar Association.