12 Dec - Luke Steele, Horrible Criminal and Moorland Monitors Founder
They say you can judge an organisation or an individual by the company they keep. That is certainly true of the RSPB and a number of other wildlife organisations that continue to associate themselves so prominently with the most criminally minded and repellent of all the anti-grouse shooting activists, Luke Steele. Steele has rather become a poster boy of late for the RSPB’s ‘Ban-the-Burn campaign’.
Whether the RSPB are actively part of Steele’s reputational washing process or indeed whether they just don’t understand the full extent of his criminal past we are unsure.
As industrious as ever however, Steele has been putting himself forward for any media interview that will have him as part of his work with his organisation, the Moorland Monitors.
One of his favoured tactics is the use of hidden cameras and then editing the footage to push an agenda. Unsurprisingly, we are told the police have had enough his time wasting and continuous attempts to try and push his doctored footage towards them.
Steele possesses a chiselled comic book supervillain face, and has been able to galvanise a support base of campaigners, seemingly made up of energised teenagers who idolise Steele as some sort of cult leader whatever it is he is saying.
It all looks like jolly good fun for the vast majority of his supporters, going for a march along a moor. Indeed, one of those young members pictured carrying the “Ban bloodsports” sign has his skateboard under the other arm. Perhaps unaware the moorland tracks were inappropriate surfaces for skateboarding down – for why else would someone choose to lug a skateboard up a moor?
It would be interesting to know how many of those pictured if asked could tell the difference between a red grouse and rooster, although we probably already know the answer to that.
I wonder how many of the supporters who follow Steele online or go to his events actually know that beneath his roguish smile there is a hardened criminal guilty of repeat offences, including intimidation of persons and interference with a contractual relationship, which led to him ultimately being given a prison sentence of 18-months.
One professor from Harlan Laboratories, which was targeted by Steele and his associates, is on record as saying all his neighbours on the street he lived on were sent notes claiming he was a rapist. Another said that the activists would find out names of scientists who worked at the laboratory and list them on websites as paedophiles.
And yet his associates within the RSPB and in other places have no qualms about appearing alongside him, even using him to further their agenda.
He is known to regularly abuse and intimidate gamekeepers across the Yorkshire moors, as recently as only two weeks ago in the North York Moors.
Even as recently as March this year Steele was back in court, this time in a case against an abattoir in Kent, which had been broken into in order to illegally place hidden cameras. The judge concluded that Steel had hired his accomplice, a fellow activist called Ed Shephard, because he would ‘bend the rules’ and once again dismissed the case Steele was trying to bring. The judge also raised questions about the date stamps on the video evidence submitted, describing it as ‘amateurish’.
The fact that senior managers within the RSPB, and indeed many of their supporters, think that they and their staff are harassed by this blog is frankly laughable compared years of harassment Steele has unleashed amongst the Moorland Communities.