Chris Packham did not forge death threat, say police after BBC host hits back at claims

Megan McCubbin recalls angering Chris Packham with bath bomb

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Police have said that BBC presenter Chris Packham, 59, did not forge the death threat he received after a complaint was made by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) against him. The SGA lodged a complaint with Hampshire Constabulary last month that questioned the letter sent in 2019 to the Winterwatch host, who lives in the New Forest.

The rural body claimed Chris could have written himself the death threat in a bid to smear them.

It included reports from two graphologists commissioned by the SGA, which has 5,300 members, to compare the letter with examples of the naturalist’s handwriting found online.

In response, Hampshire police said on Friday that the complaint had been reviewed and no action would be taken. 

It comes after the Animal Einsteins host hit back at the shooting lobby’s accusations in view of his 450,000 followers on Twitter.

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He tweeted at the weekend: “I’m pretty obviously not the sort of bloke who writes death threats to himself.

“I’ve got plenty of better things to do. Like campaigning about the relentless illegal persecution of birds of prey on Scottish grouse moors. 

“And this action by the SGA is transparent —they are playing the man because they can’t win the game.”

Gamekeepers have hit out at campaigners including Chris for making the tensions between pro- and anti-shooting lobbies worse.


Chris has argued that the killing of golden eagles and hen harriers on grouse moors was a cause of “national embarrassment” for Scotland.

He said: “Due to their criminal fraternity, [the SGA] are losing— licensing of shooting estates is coming, mountain hare culling has been banned and muirburn is constantly under the spotlight, due to its negative impacts on our climate. 

“Frankly, they’re desperate to the point of embarrassing themselves.”

Chris spoke out about the death threat he received in April 2019 and reported it to the police.

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He then shared it on social media, showing fans that it stated that Packham’s address was known while warning him to be “very, very careful … we want you dead”, alongside references to a car crash and poison.

Following the complaint from the SGA, analysis was sought from a forensic document examiner, who found that Packham was not the author of the threatening letter.

Chris also revealed the letter was forensically examined by police. 

He explained his fingerprints were not found on the letter and no matches for several other prints were found against a national database.

The SGA previously declared that the reports it commissioned “were worthy of police investigation” and would be “retained for our members”, according to The Times.

A representative for the rural body said last week: “We believe we undertook our duty to our members who felt that handwriting similarities that they alleged to have seen, ought to be investigated further. 

“We did so, by taking external expert advice. In similar circumstances, we would take exactly the same course of action again.”

He added: “We understand that Chris Packham is a television celebrity … contracted by the BBC to provide content on wildlife programmes. 

“We understand and respect that he would want to provide his view.”

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