Colney Heath father of two found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to protected Muntjac deer

Reeve's muntjac Muntiacus reevesi

Reeve's muntjac Muntiacus reevesi - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A father of two fined £630 after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal - a Muntjac deer - has apologised for his actions.

Jose Ismael Pereira De Jesus, 38, of High Street, Colney Heath, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on November 27.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of taking a deer at night, on April 8 this year, between the end of the first hour after sunset and the beginning of the last hour before sunrise, at or about 1.30am.

De Jesus had also pleaded guilty to releasing a Muntjac deer into the wild.

He represented himself at a trial held for a third charge, where he pleaded not guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, a Muntjac, by an act, namely having its neck twisted, by being carried in an inappropriate manner, and by being forcibly restrained on the floor in an inappropriate way, when he knew or ought to have reasonably known that this would have an effect, or likely to do so.

De Jesus was told by the judges’ panel: “The charge was that you caused unnecessary suffering of a protected animal, a Muntjac deer, by carrying it with its neck twisted, and forcibly restraining it on the floor. You ought to have known it would have caused the animal suffering.

“We did not find that you carried the deer in an inappropriate manner ... you carried the deer in your arms across to your car. We found that you did place a foot on the neck of the deer and a foot on one of its hind legs, which caused it to scream.”

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The court took into account De Jesus’s good character and the fact that he had no previous convictions, and fined him £630 altogether.

De Jesus, a father of two, said: “If I caused any harm to anyone, I’m sorry and I regret it, and my intention was to save the animal, but with what happened, it came to me to try and release it, in a good way.

“Thank you for listening to me, and thank you for your time.”