A novice poacher from Croydon narrowly avoided prison after stealing a live deer, killing it and eating it for Christmas.
Shahid took an injured deer from a field in Mitchley Avenue and instead of alerting authorities, drove it to his home in December 2014. He reportedly sliced its throat, butchered it and even posted photographs on a Facebook group dedicated to hunters.
The Croydon man was first spotted loading an injured deer into his truck, but several users of the Facebook group forwarded Shahid’s post to the police as well. The 32-year-old amateur hunter was given a four-month prison sentence that has been suspended for two years after he pleaded guilty to two deer-related charges.
It is still unknown how the deer was first injured.
Magistrate Richard Goold told him: “You brought that animal home alive and you killed that animal in a way which was inhumane.
“We have given the maximum prison sentence available to this court. If more was available we would be considering more. This is a horrendous crime. Be under no illusion how close you came today to being taken away in custody.”
Shahid pleaded guilty to both counts of taking a deer and causing it unnecessary suffering and received sentences of four and three months to run concurrently, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work.
When police executed a search warrant on 18 February 2015, they found and confiscated air weapons and hunting gear.
Police Constable Ian Reeve, Croydon Wildlife Crime officer said the deer had died ‘a prolonged, painful and unnecessary death’.
Reeve added: “Ultimately, his boasting on the internet and reports from eagle-eyed members of the public helped us to catch him and bring him before a court.”