FFGC had an orchard in the town of Les Bons (Encamp), with a house where chickens and rabbits were housed. In January 2012, FFGC found that a wild animal had made a hole under the fence and killed 7 chickens. She decided to place a trap to capture the wild animal.
This is a criminal case in which a tremendous effort to smuggle psittacine (parrot) birds into the United States from the Republic of Mexico was exposed. There is a quarantine against the importation of such species into the United States. The indictment was in ten counts. Three separate conspiracies were charged (Counts 1, 4, and 7).
Appellants had been convicted for unlawful hunting upon a plea of guilty before a Subordinate Court. They had hunted 19 springbok and 1 gemsbok without a licence. All pleaded guilty, were convicted and were sentenced to pay fines of varying amounts.
The appellant was found guilty of hunting and killing one elephant without a licence and it was against that conviction that he filed the appeal in the High Court. The appellant had been convicted but the charge was defective in that it failed to disclose an offence.
The accused were charged with hunting in a game reserve, in contravention of the Fauna Conservation Proclamation, 1961; alternatively, that they were hunting without a licence or permit. In their defence, the accused argued that they did not know they were hunting in a game reserve, and that they had the licences necessary to hunt the zebra.
The court held that the onus is always on the prosecution to prove the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt. The court held that it is the duty of the trial judicial officer to warn himself of the danger of convicting on the evidence of accomplice witnesses. The court held that the magistrate had failed to make a record of such warning.
The two Accused had been convicted of unlawfully hunting game. The value of weapons and vehicle used in the commission of the offence exceeded the civil jurisdiction of a Subordinate Court, which accordingly referred the question of forfeiture of these articles to the High Court.