Four schoolboys arrested on suspicion of killing Queen’s deer near Windsor Castle
The lads – two aged just 13 – were allegedly lamping and their two dogs mauled the animal to death.
A source said: “The Queen will no doubt be mortified at the thought of a gang of poachers operating in darkness near Windsor Castle.”
It happened near the Frogmore Estate just yards from where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had their evening wedding reception in May.
Cops swooped and arrested the boys – also two 15-year-olds – in Windsor Great Park at 10.20pm on Sunday.
They were quizzed on suspicion of hunting.
Lamping involves using lights in pitch darkness to startle usually rabbits before shooting them or using dogs to chase them.
Part of the park – dubbed The Queen’s backyard – is public, some is private.
The deer was believed to have been killed on private land and the boys were arrested on private land.
There are estimated to be a 500-srong deer herd in the 5,000 acre park.
The Duke of Edinburgh reintroduced the animals in 1979.
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “We were called to a report of hunting near Shaw Farm Gate, Windsor, on Sunday.
“It relates to an incident where a deer was killed.
“Four boys, a 13-year-old and two 15-year-olds from Slough, and another 13-year-old from Staines have been arrested on suspicion of hunting.
“They have been released under investigation.”
The force also tweeted: “Four young men arrested for poaching in the Great Park and two dogs seized.
“A deer was found killed by the dogs.
“If you see lights in fields at night, please report it to the police.”
A Crown Estate spokesman said: “We are aware of an incident that took place on Sunday and are supporting Thames Valley Police with their investigation.”
The Queen was not believed to be in residence at the time.
It’s not the first time Her Majesty’s animals have been killed by hunters.
In February last year two of her swans died after 12 were shot with an air gun or slingshot near the castle in the royal Berkshire town.
In May 2014, Redouane Flissi posted a sick video on Facebook of a swan being gunned down in Windsor.
The 22-year-old was arrested, fined and given a suspended sentence.
In August 2013 vile brutes barbecued a swan on the side of the River Thames.
The previous May another thug blasted three of The Queen’s swans with an air rifle.
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