A man caught hare coursing near the runway at Glenrothes Airport has been fined £1,200.
William Alexander McPhee appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court yesterday where he admitted using a dog to try and kill, injure or take a brown hare on July 1 2017.
The 27-year-old also pled guilty to entering a restricted area of an aerodrome without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.
The court was told how McPhee was spotted arriving at the popular airfield in the company of his father, also William McPhee, a young child and a dog.
Procurator fiscal depute Keith Jones said: “The airfield is open to aviation traffic until 9pm daily except on Sundays.
“It’s well known to locals and staff that brown hares, which are protected mammals, occupy the long grass area along the perimeter of the runway.
“On July 1 at approximately 8.35pm, a civilian witness was within his home address which over looks the airport.
“At this time, he observed a blue Subaru travelling along a dead end road. As there were no other properties past his house, the witness maintained his observations.
“The witness observed the vehicle come to a halt at the end of he road. The occupants disembarked with a greyhound lurcher type dog.
“One of those occupants was the now accused William Alexander McPhee. He jumped the fence into Glenrothes Airport with the dog. They then instructed the dog to chase a brown hare.
“The dog chased the hair along the length of the runway as got as close as about five metres before the hare managed to escaped through the airport buildings.”
The men then left the scene with the dog before the witness contacted the police.
Defence solicitor Edward Kelly said his client maintained the dog belonged to his father who was also prosecuted for the same incident.
He added: “Mr McPhee’s former co-accused owned the dog and instigated the event and Mr McPhee junior took part in that.”
Sheriff Simon Collins QC was told how father-of-three McPhee has a previous conviction for a similar coursing event five years earlier.
He said: “I am satisfied, not without some hesitation, that this can be dealt with by way of a financial penalty.”
McPhee, of Slamannan near Falkirk, was fined £800 for the hare coursing charge and £400 for entering a restricted aerodrome.