Dog DNA Sends Scottish Man to Jail in Legal First

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

With best friends like that, who needs enemies? In a first for Scotland, a man’s been sent down because of DNA evidence secured from a dog.

Colin Stewart, along with friend Raymond Higgins and a 16-year-old boy, were reported to police for hare coursing near Kirriemuir, Angus, in March. Though the trio denied the allegations, the officers found the hunting dogs they’d been using and took swabs for DNA analysis.

They also carried a post-mortem on a dead hare, and lo and behold: MATCH.

“This is an excellent example of partnership working to secure a conviction,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Sean Scott from Police Scotland’s specialist crime division. “The public have also played a major part in this investigation by providing such detailed descriptions and accounts of the incident. Hare coursing where dogs chase the animal, is a particularly violent crime. Public awareness is crucial in helping us tackle crimes like poaching and hare coursing.”

The officers then managed to recover a Samsung camera with footage of the men posing with dead hares and discussing their crimes. Stewart has been sentenced to 135 days behind bars, Higgins has been fined £400 and the kid has been slapped with a community payback order with a year's supervision. [BBC]