The District Court in Lębork sentenced Remigiusz C., the former mayor of Warcimin, the main defendant in the trial for killing the bison “Pyrek”, to one year and five months in prison. The judgment is not final.
The trial before the District Court in Lębork (Pomorskie) took place from September 2, 2021 and finally involved five of the eight defendants. The case of the remaining three was excluded by the court for separate proceedings. On Monday, Judge Iwona Wańczycka announced the verdict. None of the accused appeared in the courtroom.
The main defendant, 23-year-old Remigiusz C., was sentenced to a total penalty of 1 year and 5 months in prison for killing the protected European bison “Pyrka”, poaching, trading in hunting weapons and driving vehicles without a license. The court imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 on the defendant. PLN for the benefit of the West Pomeranian Nature Society in Szczecin for the purpose of protecting the bison species and a 2-year driving ban. He is also to pay 6.9 thousand. PLN and jointly and severally with the co-defendant Przemysław P. 28.9 thousand. PLN for the benefit of the injured Pomeranian Voivode representing the State Treasury as compensation for the damage caused.
Other defendants were sentenced
32-year-old Przemysław P. was sentenced to a total of one year in prison, suspended for three years, for helping to cut off a bison’s head, poaching and trafficking in firearms. The court placed him under the supervision of a probation officer. Jointly and severally with the co-defendant Remigiusz C., he is to pay 28.9 thousand. PLN fine. Both were acquitted of making false statements.
Roman P., father of Przemysław P., for providing ammunition to Remigiusz C. and his son, was sentenced to seven months in prison suspended for two years and a fine of PLN 1,000. zloty. Andrzej S. is to pay a fine of the same amount for the purchase of a poached wild boar carcass. And Łukasz S. was sentenced to 1 year of imprisonment suspended for one year for arms trafficking.
Judge Wańczycka partially ordered the defendants to pay court costs in various amounts. The most, because 6 thousand. PLN, is to be paid by the main accused Remigiusz C.
He was supposed to confuse a bison with a wild boar
In the oral justification, Judge Wańczycka indicated that the collected evidence proved the legitimacy of the acts attributed to the defendants in the judgment. The defendants and witnesses were questioned, and the material evidence provided in the form of a recording of the trial experiment, photographic documentation, as well as the opinions of experts in the field of ballistics and hunting constituted, as the judge noted, “coherent, logical and convincing evidence”.
The judge successively justified the adequacy of the imposed penalties to the acts committed by the individual defendants. She noted that the court, when adjudicating, took into account the situation of each of the accused, including their previous criminal record and the degree of harmfulness of the committed act. At the same time, it considered the sharing and sale of weapons to unauthorized persons, on the basis of applicable regulations, as an act of “significant harmfulness”.
Judge Wańczycka reminded that, as a rule, Remigusz C. admitted to killing the bison, claiming that he mistook it for a wild boar, that he did not act intentionally. He fired the shots from a distance of 40 m. The animal was about to get up, then the accused noticed that it was a bison. The male walked 10 m and died.
“The court overturned this line of defense” – said Judge Wańczycka and admitted that the opinion of an expert in the field of hunting allowed it. ” Such precisely placed bullets in the carcass, in the area of the sternum and heart, prove that the defendant knew what he was shooting at. (…) He saw them (the animal) in a lateral position, nothing was blocking him. One shot was fired from touchdown, i.e. at very close range, “said the referee.
In addition, in the court’s opinion, the defendant who, after killing the bison, called Przemysław P. and his father, asking them if they wanted to see the killed bison, cut off the animal’s tail on his own, started cutting off the head, which was then helped by Przemysław P., could not have acted unintentionally .
Severed head and gunshot wounds
The European bison came to Pomerania in the spring of 2019. It was an attraction of the forests of Lębork. He wasn’t afraid of people. He was trusting, approached the surrounding houses. The inhabitants of the local villages even gave him a name, they called him “Pyrek”, because the male liked potatoes.
On November 17, 2019, Remigiusz C. and Przemysław P., who were arrested on February 1, 2020, reported finding a bison with a severed head and gunshot wounds in the forest near Dąbrówno (Pomeranian Voivodeship, Potęgowo commune). and on February 3, they heard charges of killing an animal under species protection.
The men knew each other from earlier hunts, in which they participated as beaters. Remigiusz C. bought a double-barreled shotgun on the olx website, and then a hunter friend supplied him with ammunition. During the investigation, he claimed that he had not seen that he had killed the bison “Pyrek”, mistook it for a wild boar. Together with Przemysław P., he cut off the bison’s head and cut off the tail himself. They wanted to sell the trophies.
Main photo source: Shutterstock