Charges have been dropped against a restaurant owner who was accused of illegally hunting a deer in a public park.

A dog walker had reported William Alldis, 40, of Epping, Essex to police for allegedly shooting the deer in Dagnam Park, Essex, in November last year.

Mr Alldis had been charged in February this year with two firearm offences.

However, a charge of discharging a firearm in a public place was withdrawn at his first court appearance at Barkingside Magistrates Court on February 20.

And insufficient evidence was presented during his trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court (Tuesday, September 17) on a second charge of possessing a firearm and ammunition in a public place.

He was found not guilty after the defence provided video footage undermining the prosecution case.

After charges has been dropped against Mr Alldis, he said: “I am incredibly relieved this is out the way. As an ethical shooter who instills in people the importance of shooting responsibly and within the law, it was an incredible strain to have my good name dragged through the mud.

“It doesn’t make it any easier to know you are innocent when you are being hauled though the court system. I’ve had plenty of sleepless nights in the last nine months.

“But now this awful ordeal is over, I am just looking forward to getting back into the kitchen and cooking amazing, sustainably sourced wild food and fantastic local produce for my customers once again.”

Mr Alldis runs the well-known Cart Shed Restaurant at his family’s farm near Epping and has appeared on the TV cooking game meat.

He is well-known for opening several pop-up restaurants and for running shooting, fishing and game cookery courses that teach people to live off the land.

Mr Alldis also taught BBC comic Nick Helm how to shoot on the Dave channel’s food show Eat Your Heart Out.