Category Archives: Wildlife crime

Badger baiting, hunting with dogs, foxhunting, hare coursing, animal fighting

West Cumbrian Badger Baiters : Dillon Broderick, Kai Cartwright, John James Thompson and Scott Walpole

#TheList badger baiting lowlifes Dillon Broderick, born 25/10/1996, of 1 Lowcroft, Main Street, Maryport CA15 7DN, Kai Cartwright, born 27/09/1997 , of 33 Alexander Close, Workington CA14 3HQ, John James Thompson, born 25/07/1992, of 29 Harriston, Aspatria, Wigton CA7 2ED and Scott David Martin Walpole, born 09/04/1990 of 13 East Crescent, Aspatria, Wigton CA7 3EF

Police mugshots of the four West Cumbrian badger baiters
Killers: the four men were given suspended sentences for their multiple barbaric crimes against wildlife

Wildlife persecutors Broderick, Cartwright, Thompson and Walpole were all given suspended prison sentences for cruelty towards badgers and deer. Mobile phone footage was handed to the RSPCA by police, who were investigating Walpole for an unrelated crime [in April 2019 he alongside Broderick and Thompson were jailed for their part in an organised crime gang targeting ATM machines]. This showed the four men badger digging and baiting.

Horrific footage showing men digging out badgers was found on Scott Walpole's mobile phone
Horrific footage showing men digging out badgers was found on Scott Walpole’s mobile phone

Dillon Broderick pleaded guilty to wilfully killing a badger on February 18, 2018; killing a deer during the close season on March 11, 2018; killing a deer at night on the same date; killing a deer during the close season on March 13, 2018; wilfully killing a badger on April 15, 2018; and interfering with a badger sett on April 15, 2018 by causing a dog to enter it with intent or being reckless as to whether his actions would have that consequence.

Horrific footage showing men digging out badgers was found on Scott Walpole's mobile phone

Scott Walpole pleaded guilty to the same offences as Broderick, as well as admitting to intentionally killing two mallards on April 4, 2018.

Horrific footage showing men digging out badgers was found on Scott Walpole's mobile phone

Kai Cartwright and John Thompson both admitted to wilfully killing a badger on April 15, 2018 and interfering with a badger sett on April 15, 2018 by causing a dog to enter it with intent or being reckless as to whether their actions would have that consequence.

Horrific footage showing men digging out badgers was found on Scott Walpole's mobile phone
Caught in the act: Dillon Broderick

Investigating officer Jason Bowles said: “On the phone we found multiple images and videos showing the men out with their dogs, digging into badger setts and setting their dogs on badgers.

“This ‘sport’ is cruel and barbaric, and I’m sure this footage would be incredibly upsetting for the public to see.”

PC Samantha O’Key, Cumbria Police wildlife, rural and environmental crime coordinator, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of this investigation and the subsequent convictions that have been brought against these individuals, as Cumbria Police takes animal cruelty very seriously. We worked diligently with our RSPCA colleagues and this is a good example of partnership working at its most effective.”

Sentencing:

Broderick and Walpole each received a two-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, for the crimes against the deer, as well as a four-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months, for the other offences. The court also ordered them to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Cartwright and Thompson were each given a four-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, and were ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

All defendants were banned from having custody of a dog for life, or until a further order is made.

News & Star

Frimley, Surrey: Samuel Haylett

#TheList Samuel Haylett, born 30/09/1989, of Barnes Road, Frimley, Camberley GU16 – for hare coursing

Samuel Haylett, who  was caught hare coursing on private land in Essex
Samuel Haylett, who was caught hare coursing on private land in Essex

Sam Haylett was made subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) for hare coursing after Essex Police responded to reports near Blind Lane, West Hanningfield, south Essex.

Haylett admitted trespass in pursuit of game.

The CBO prohibits him from being in possession of a catapult, shot or an air weapon in a public place, bans him from being in the possession, control and company of any dog within Essex unless travelling to a pre-arranged emergency vet’s appointment, stops him from having a dog off a lead unless on private land or with the land owner’s consent and bans him from associating with three men in a public place.

At around 2pm on Sunday 13 October 2019, Essex Police received reports about hare coursing off Blind Lane.

An off-duty police officer was in the area and spotted Haylett, who was in possession of dogs who were in pursuit of a hare. This lasted around 30 seconds.

She then told Haylett to stop and put herself on duty before other officers arrived and arrested him.

The police took photographs of Haylett covered in mud before they seized a car, mobile phones, catapults and stones.

Haylett was interviewed under caution before being reported for the offence.

Chief Inspector Terry Balding, head of Rural Engagement Team, said: “The quick-actions by members of the community and an off-duty officer, who has an extensive knowledge of wildlife and countryside pursuits, has resulted in a man receiving a conviction for hare coursing.

“The order, which is the first we have ever secured for hare coursing, will restrict his activities, his movements and his associates and will help protect rural communities countrywide.

“Hare coursing isn’t just an illegal and cruel activity, it causes disruption and damage to private land and crops, it can have a financial impact on businesses and it endangers the safety of people living and working in the area.

“We remain dedicated, along with our policing colleagues, in the combat of hare coursing and we will continue to track down and deal with offenders such as Haylett.”

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Tackling rural crime is an important priority in my Police and Crime Plan and it is great to see the Essex Police Rural Engagement Team taking such a proactive approach to protecting our rural communities.

“Hare coursing is a dangerous and frightening crime committed in isolated areas of our county.

“It can make our rural communities feel vulnerable in their own homes and this is totally unacceptable.

“Securing this order sends a clear message that rural crime is not acceptable, it will be tackled and those committing offences will be caught.”

Sentencing: in addition to the Criminal Behaviour Order, Haylett was ordered to pay a total of £569 in fines, costs and charges.

Essex Police news

Sandyford, Stoke-on-Trent: Jason Price

#TheList traveller Jason Price, born c. 1997, of Burnaby Road, Stoke on Trent ST6 – shot and killed eight pheasants with an air rifle on private land

Poacher Jason Price, a traveller from Sandyford. Stoke on Trent

Jason Price, a traveller whose previous convictions include sexual activity with a child, has apologised to the owners of the Whitmore Shooting Estate – after shooting and stealing his pheasants.

The owner was alerted to the crime after hearing gunshots and then spotting Price loading something into the back of his van.

North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard police later found the 22-year-old with eight dead pheasants in his vehicle.

Poacher Jason Price, a traveller from Sandyford. Stoke on Trent, poses with the pheasants he shot and killed

Prosecutor Sue Hayers said: “The injured party was at home at 9pm on January 14 when he heard what he thought sounded like silenced rifle shots. He saw a light shine in the trees and formed the opinion someone was outside.

“He saw a van parked up the road and saw someone throw something into the rear of the van. The person was holding a rifle. The vehicle pulled away.

“Police later located the van and the defendant. They recovered an air rifle, pellets and eight pheasants from the vehicle.”

When he was arrested, Price claimed he did not know the Whitmore land was private and said he intended to eat the birds.

The court heard the landowner, the Cavanagh-Mainwairing family, rears pheasants to be used in licensed shoots held on the estate, and the theft left them £320 out of pocket.

Poacher Jason Price, a traveller from Sandyford. Stoke on Trent

Price pleaded guilty to theft and a charge of trespassing at night with an air rifle to destroy game.

The offences put him in breach of a conditional discharge he received for another theft, when he was collecting scrap metal and took property that the owner had not agreed he could have.

Mohammed Fiaz, mitigating, said: “He has written a letter of apology for his behaviour. The reason Mr Price took the pheasants was for his own consumption. He wasn’t going to sell them on. He purchased the rifle legitimately.

“He was working as a labourer but unfortunately he lost that job a couple of weeks ago.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £320 to the victim. He must also pay a £120 fine for breaching the conditional discharge.

Stoke Sentinel

Wishaw, North Lanarkshire: Conran Connor

#TheList badger baiter Conran Connor, born 01/12/1998, of 61 Gateside Road, Wishaw ML2 7SB – kept dogs for animal fighting

Conran Connor was jailed for 5 months after making three pets brutally attack badgers
Conran Connor was jailed for 5 months after making three pets brutally attack badgers

Conran Connor was sentenced to 21 weeks in prison and given a 15-year ban on owning and/or being in control of any animal after admitting to keeping and training his three dogs for animal fighting.

A Patterdale terrier was discovered with horrific injuries
A Patterdale terrier was discovered with horrific injuries

Connor was caught when a Patterdale terrier was discovered with horrific injuries consistent with being caused by badger baiting.
The dog’s injuries were so severe that he had to be put down by vets.

Knives were then found in Connor’s home with badger blood and DNA during a Scottish SPCA investigation.

The probe revealed Connor had direct links to badger baiting.

Wildlife abuser Conran Connor from Wishaw, Scotland

He dug up badger setts in woodland in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, in preparation for illegal and bloody fights where the animals are set upon by dogs.

Connor's dog had injuries consistent with animal fighting
Connor’s dog had injuries consistent with animal fighting

A Scottish SPCA undercover inspector said: “We became aware of Connor following an enquiry into an abandoned Patterdale terrier, found in the Carnwatch/Carluke area, which had injuries consistent with badger baiting and fighting.

“The dog had to be euthanised due to the extent of his injuries.

“Our investigation led to the home of Connor and with a warrant, we discovered evidence to suggest he was engaging in animal fighting.”

The inspector added: “We recovered proof that Connor had held conversations specific to purchasing dogs for, and discussing, animal fighting.

“Other items recovered from the house included numerous magazines and books relating specifically to hunting and fighting dogs with wild animals, hunting clothes, devices used to lure foxes called fox callers, a torch identical to one found during the excavation of a badger sett and knives, many of which were subsequently found to have badger blood and DNA.

“We were able to gather the DNA evidence thanks to Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).

“Multiple items found matched those in Connor’s possession of him posing with dead wild animals and his three dogs”.

Image recovered from badger baiter Conran Connor's phone showing him in a hole in the ground with his dog

The SIU inspector added: “Other images confirmed his presence at badger baiting sites and showed his own dogs at the entrance to a badger sett.

“There were also men digging into the ground at night in woodland. This is an activity carried out as part of the badger baiting process. Other pictures include a dog with injuries consistent with badger fighting.

“We welcome the sentence handed down to Connor. He engaged in depraved acts that showed his complete disregard for animal welfare.

“He caused extreme levels of suffering to the wild animals involved and put his three dogs at great risk of injury or death, and failed to get any veterinary treatment when they were injured.”

The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit are experts in investigating animal fighting offences and rely on information from the public to continue to put a stop to this horrific activity.

Sentencing: 21 weeks in prison. Banned from owning any animal for 15 years.

Scottish Sun
Motherwell Times
Scottish SPCA News

Millom, Cumbria: Stephen Carr

#TheList Stephen Carr, born 11/11/1986, of 10 Munroe Avenue, Millom LA18 5AL – failed to get veterinary care when two of his dogs suffered facial injuries consistent with wild animal fighting

Animal abuser Stephen Carr from Millom, Cumbria, UK
Stephen Carr, who has two young sons, brags about his lust for bloodsports on his Facebook page

Married father-of-two Carr pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering.

The court heard Cumbria Police executed a warrant at Carr’s home on August 14, 2019, accompanied by RSPCA officers.

Three dogs were found in kennels at the bottom of the garden, and two of them were found to have facial injuries

Abused dog Toby

A vet who examined Toby, a bull lurcher, found a lower lip laceration which was about a month old which was still healing and there was no sign of an attempt to repair it.

Boots, a Patterdale Terrier, was found to have an old ‘degloving injury’ on her jaw which was caused by ‘traumatic tearing forces’.

Patterdale terrier Boots suffered a degloving injury to her jaw and had facial scarring\
Patterdale terrier Boots suffered a degloving injury to her jaw and had facial scarring

The vet report said ‘these injuries are incredibly painful,’ and there was no evidence it had been treated and had instead been ‘left to heal’.

RSPCA Inspector Ian Briggs, said: “As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your pet gets vet treatment when they need it so they do not suffer.

“We are pleased that Boots, Toby and Blaze, will be looking for loving new homes soon.”

Animal abuser Stephen Carr from Millom, Cumbria, UK

Copeland Neighbourhood Police Officer Marie Carter said: “This is a welcome result which enforces the message that mistreatment or abuse of animals will not be tolerated and will result in robust action being taken. We continue to work with our partners in the RSPCA in order to bring these offenders to justice.

“Anyone with any information in relation to this type of offence is asked to contact Cumbria Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Sentencing: 12-week suspended prison; ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and to pay £622. Disqualified from keeping dogs for 10 years. Boots, Toby and a third dog Blaze are in RSPCA care and will be looking for new homes soon.

The Mail

Doncaster, South Yorkshire: Scott Hayes and Christopher Darwin

#TheList Scott Hayes, born 16/02/1989 of Blakewood Drive, Blaxton, Doncaster DN9 3GX and Christopher Darwin, born 15/10/1991 of Laycock Avenue, Gringley-on-the-Hill, Doncaster DN10 4SA – used lurcher dogs to hunt and kill a deer on Christmas Eve

Poachers Scott Hayes and Christopher Darwin from Doncaster

Scott Hayes and Chris Darwin were found guilty of poaching offences.

The pair were spotted by police coming off private land with lurcher dogs in the village of Haxey, North Lincolnshire, on December 24, 2019. The body of a freshly killed male Roe deer was discovered nearby and further investigations revealed its injuries were consistent with it being killed by dogs.

Chief Inspector Paul Butler said, “This court result should send out a very clear message to those who commit wildlife offences that we take these offences seriously and will seek other sanctions available to the courts.

“The obtaining of [Criminal Behaviour Orders] in this case provides other police forces with a straight forward tool to deal with these men if they choose to commit wildlife offences with the use of the type of dog involved. I would like to thank the Wildlife Crime Officers involved in bringing this case before the court, the CPS Prosecutors involved and also the court for taking such offences seriously”.

Scott Hayes
Vicious bloodthirsty predator Scott Hayes

Deer poaching is a problem in many areas across the UK. It can involve extreme cruelty to the deer targeted, especially when dogs are used to chase and drag them down. Many offenders operate across several counties, travelling long distances to target specific hdilocations.

Christopher Darwin
Chris Darwin

The use of lurcher type dogs features in most poaching offences committed during both the day and night.

Chief Inspector Butler added: “Poaching activity is a blight on the countryside and many of those involved are linked to other offending. Members of rural communities often feel vulnerable and intimidated by poachers who can be aggressive or offer violence if challenged.

“If you witness suspected poaching offences taking place, particularly where lurcher type dogs are being used please report it to the police via 999.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order of 300 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £350 court costs; made subject to a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) preventing them from entering the Humberside Police area.

Yorkshire Post

Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf: Mathew Howell Jones

#TheList Mathew Howell Jones, born 30/05/1981, of Jones Street, Tonypandy CF40 2BY – for badger baiting and failing to take his injured dog to the vet

Mathew Howell Jones of Tonypandy, South Wales, was given a suspended jail term after interfering with a badger sett and failing to seek treatment for his badly injured dog
Mathew Howell Jones was given a suspended jail term after interfering with a badger sett and failing to seek treatment for his badly injured dog.

Mathew Howell Jones pleaded guilty to one Protection of Badgers Act 1992 offence and one Animal Welfare Act 2006 offence.

The court heard that the father-of-three was caught using dogs to interfere with a badger sett on January 20, 2019.

Jones also admitted failing to get urgent veterinary treatment for his dog, with the black terrier struggling with serious injuries.

The unnamed dog had alopecia and skin lesions, caused by sarcoptic mange – with a wound to the eye consistent with a tear injury to the lower lid. Despite these problems, Jones had not taken him to the vet.

A veterinary professional said such injuries are “commonly seen following fighting” and would be “consistent with a face-to-face encounter with another dog or a fox or a badger”.

One of badger baiter Mathew Howell Jones's dogs
One of badger baiter Mathew Howell Jones’s dogs

The dog – one of four initially seized as part of the investigation – was signed into the RSPCA’s care and ultimately put up for rehoming.

Police found blood-stained overalls in Jones’ van, though he denied ownership of the clothing. Testing of the blood confirmed it had come from a badger. RSPCA officers later found evidence of one large, freshly dug and back-filled hole at an active badger sett.

Mathew Howell Jones of Tonypandy, South Wales, was given a suspended jail term after interfering with a badger sett and failing to seek treatment for his badly injured dog

Chief inspector of the RSPCA’s special operations unit Ian Briggs said: “Interfering with a badger sett in this way is a very serious wildlife crime, and clearly had serious possible impacts both for the dogs involved and wildlife.

“One poor dog in this case was struggling with injuries that clearly needed urgent veterinary care. It’s very worrying that the injuries sustained by the dog are – according to veterinary opinion – consistent with fighting, and a face-to-face encounter with wildlife, such as a fox or a badger.

“This case is yet another example of the RSPCA’s efforts to tackle crimes against Wales’ wildlife.”

Sentencing: five-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months; ordered to pay a total of £1,520. Disqualified from keeping all animals for four years.

Jones was also deprived by the court of all possessions related to the interference with a badger sett – including locating devices and netting.

Tivy-Side Advertiser

Maidstone, Kent: Jimmy Price, Samuel Powell and Danny Price

#TheList Maidstone gypsies and serial animal abusers Jimmy Price, born c. 1994, of Forstal Farm, Well Street, Loose ME15 0QE, Samuel ‘Johnny’ Powell, born c. 1985, of Wheat Gratten Stableyards, Forstal Road, Lenham ME17 2BF, Danny Price, born c. 1990, of Victoria Stables, Victoria Court, East Farleigh ME15 0BW

Serial abusers from Maidstone, Kent, UK Samuel Powell (left) and career criminal Jimmy Price were both jailed for animal cruelty.
Serial animal abusers Samuel Powell (left) and Jimmy Price were both jailed for their latest acts of cruelty.

Jimmy Price and Samuel Powell were sent to prison after the former was filmed repeatedly stabbing a deer and the latter had put an eight-month-old foal to work. Price was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a horse and two dogs.

Qualified jockey Danny Price left a horse to starve to death but was let off with a community order and not banned from keeping animals.

Jimmy Price’s brother, Danny Price – a qualified jockey – admitted letting a horse starve to death and received a community order.

Jimmy Price's brother Danny was convicted after his bay horse was found dead next to a hay bale during the RSPCA raid in March 2019. He had starved to death
Jimmy Price’s brother Danny was convicted after his bay horse was found dead next to a hay bale during the RSPCA raid in March 2019. He had starved to death

A video played to the court showed Jimmy Price’s dogs, Scout and Tramp, untethered and unfed at the father-of-two’s home address in Forstal Farm, Loose.

Convicted animal abuser Jimmy Price from Maidstone, Kent, UK
Jimmy Price, who has previous convictions for violence and dishonesty, is a father of two

A voice in the video was heard to say: “If they run away good luck to them, I tell you what you’re the wickedest fella I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Jimmy Price, who has a history of violence, was previously convicted in December 2019 after repeatedly stabbing a deer. He was also caught hare coursing.

Still from the horrifying video in which Jimmy Price stabs a deer repeatedly while being goaded by three unknown accomplices

Rowan Morton, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said today: “It’s very difficult to even explain the gravity of what the video shows.

“There are a group of four males that can be seen with a deer. Jimmy Price is seen stabbing the deer multiple times in the throat while others shout at him to stab it.

“It’s very graphic and upsetting, there was no doubt that animal was caused significant pain and suffering.”

Convicted animal abuser Jimmy Price from Maidstone, Kent, UK, with partner Chanelle Treeby
Jimmy Price with partner Chanelle Treeby

Price, who was already serving a suspended sentence for theft offences, has previously been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs.

Persistent criminal Jimmy Price was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs and a horse
Persistent criminal Jimmy Price was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs and a horse

When Tramp and Scout were taken into the RSPCA’s care and fed properly, they gained 25% bodyweight and 45% bodyweight respectively within seven weeks.

Convicted animal abuser Jimmy Price from Maidstone, Kent, UK
Jimmy Price was previously convicted of hare coursing

Price’s dogs and the horse, which belonged to his late father, were seized during an RSPCA raid on Forstal Farm in March 2019.

Horse trader Samuel Powell had three horses seized during the same raid, having had a mare and her foal seized two months prior.

Convicted animal abuser Samuel Powell from Maidstone, Kent, UK
Samuel Powell

Four of the horses were found to be emaciated. One was suffering with diarrhoea and the foal had breathing problems, fleas and was described as “very thin”.

A Shetland Pony was found with a cut across the nose.

Powell accepted each of the horses was his own, but said they were in that condition as he was rehabilitating them.

He told the court: “I will buy horses that have not been treated properly. When I get them I feed them, look after them and rehabilitate them. Then I sell them for profit.

“I like to think I sometimes save lives when I buy horses.”

When asked where he buys his horses, Powell said: “I don’t want to go into too much detail as I’m from the gypsy community.”

In 2019 Powell was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a foal which was seen walking up and down at Appleby Horse Fair pulling a cart with people in.

On Friday 10/01/2020 Powell was found guilty of four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and a fifth charge of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal. The five charges relate to the five horses seized from Forstal Farm.

Danny Price admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a bay horse. In return charges of causing suffering to a bay mare, a black mare and a piebald mare, were dropped.

Convicted animal abuser and qualified jockey Danny Price from Maidstone
Horse killer Daniel Price

The bay horse was found dead next to a hay bale during the RSPCA raid in March 2019. He had starved to death.

Magistrates heard the 29-year-old had stopped looking after the horse as he was in the process of selling it, and thought it was the new owner’s responsibility.

Sentencing:
Jimmy Price – jailed for seven and a half months of which half will be spent in custody. Ordered to pay £5,115 in costs and charges. Five-year order banning him from keeping dogs.

Samuel Powell – jailed for 26 weeks and will serve half of that sentence. Ordered to pay total of £5,115. Banned from owning horses for five years but can appeal after just one year.

Danny Price – 12-month community order; 150 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £1,585.

Kent Online

Fleetwood, Lancashire: Jack Starkey

#TheList badger digger/baiter and bloodsports fanatic Jack Starkey, born 12/10/1990, of Bold Street, Fleetwood FY7

Badger baiter Jack Starkey from Fleetwood, Lancashire, UK

Father-of-two Jack Starkey admitted two offences under the Protection of Badgers Act and one under the Animal Welfare Act.
He was due to stand trial for a number of offences under both Acts but pleaded guilty before the trial was set to commence.

Starkey was caught badger baiting in Bluebell Wood in Denton, Greater Manchester on January 3, 2019.

Two dog walkers came across Starkey and three other men digging a badger out of its sett. The men then let a dog attack it.

The walkers called police and a local animal welfare group, who found the badly injured badger.

The badger that was attacked by Jack Starkey's dog
The badger that was attacked by Jack Starkey’s dog

Sadly, the badger’s injuries were so serious he couldn’t be saved.

The following day, Chris Heyworth, an officer from the Special Operations Unit – a team of specialist officers tasked with investigating serious and organised animal crime such as animal fighting and wildlife offences – was contacted by Lancashire Badger Group who had been made aware of the incident.

Inspector Heyworth went to the scene, which was located just 70 yards from a road.

He said: “Unfortunately I’ve seen many disturbed badger setts and examples of badger digging in my 28 years as an RSPCA officer and it was clear this sett had been recently dug.

“In badger digging, a terrier is typically sent into the sett wearing a tracking collar and will corner the badger so the people above ground can dig them out.

“A large hole is dug – commonly referred to as a crowning point – and the badger is pulled out often by a large bull lurcher type dog.

“A seriously injured badger was discovered at the scene the previous day and taken to a vet but, sadly, had to be put to sleep due to the severity of the wounds.”

Information led to a suspect and the RSPCA approached Lancashire Police for assistance executing a warrant on February 12, 2019, at an address in Hodder Avenue, Fleetwood. Three dogs were found inside, two with extensive scarring and one with an open sore on his leg.

Badger baiter Jack Starkey from Fleetwood, Lancashire, UK

Occupants at the address said the dogs belonged to Starkey and he was contacted for interview.

Inspector Heyworth added: “We took DNA swabs from the badger’s wounds and these were later compared with DNA taken from the three dogs seized from Mr Starkey.

“Two were ruled out but results showed that a rare type of DNA – found in only one in 100 dogs – which was found on the badger was also present in the third dog.”

Badger baiter Jack Starkey from Fleetwood, Lancashire, UK

Starkey was charged with offences of attempting to kill a badger, digging a sett and causing suffering to one of the dogs in his care.

Starkey, who has links with the travelling community, eventually pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

The dogs remain in RSPCA care and will now be rehomed.

Inspector Heyworth added: “I’d like to thank Lancashire Police, Lancashire Badger Group, High Peak Badger Group and Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) for their assistance.

“It will send out a message to those who continue to persecute badgers within the county and further afield.”

Sentencing: 16-week suspended jail term; 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 hours of rehabilitation activity. Ordered to pay £1,115 costs. Banned from keeping dogs for eight years.

Blackpool Gazette
Lancashire Telegraph

Poole, Dorset: Scott Cochrane

#TheList serial wildlife persecutor Scott Matthew Cochrane, born 09/11/1989, of 4 Yarrow Close, Poole BH12 4FL – found with dead rabbits, lurcher-type dogs and steel ball bearings

Repeat offender Cochrane was back in court after breaching a five-year criminal behaviour order imposed in September 2015 after a video of him pulling the head off a live wood pigeon was uploaded to Facebook. He admitted being in possession of a wild animal and for hunting a wild mammal with a dog, an offence under Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004.

Cochrane, whose Facebook account is riddled with boasts about his ‘kills’, is now prohibited from entering many rural areas in Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire. The areas include south of the A35 in the Purbeck and Dorchester area, rural northeast Dorset up to the M4 corridor in north Wiltshire and parts of the New Forest in Hampshire.

This will prevent him from using routes such as the A338 from Ringwood into Wiltshire, A354 from Puddletown to Salisbury and A350 from Wimborne to parts of Wiltshire, which all feature in hotspots for such rural crime.

At 11.41pm on Saturday October 5, 2019, officers were called to a rural location in the Blandford area in relation to suspected poaching in fields. They located a van and saw two men – one of whom was the defendant.

There were two lurcher-type dogs with them and they had a high powered lamp. They were also found to be carrying dead rabbits. A search of their vehicle located a catapult and steel ball bearings, as well as further dead rabbits.

The new criminal behaviour order will last for three years.

Cochrane must not:

• Act or incite others to behave in an anti-social manner, that is to say a manner that causes harassment, alarm or distress to any persons.

• Use or incite others to use threatening, intimidating, insulting or abusive words or behaviour in any place to which the public has access.

• Be in possession of a wild animal, wild bird or part of a wild animal or bird living or dead.

• Be in possession of a catapult or shot, such as ball bearings, or to be in a vehicle with a catapult or such shot in a place to which the public have access or private land as a trespasser.

• Allow a dog under his control off a lead, except on private land with the land owners written permission.

• Be in a vehicle with a dog traditionally used for the purpose of hare and deer coursing, such as a Lurcher, Greyhound, Saluki, or a cross breed of these varieties unless travelling to an emergency vets appointment.

• Own dogs traditionally used for the purposes of hare and deer coursing such as Lurchers, Greyhounds, Saluki or a cross breed of these varieties.

Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, Rural Crime Co-ordinator for Dorset Police, said: “Coursing with dogs and poaching is a national priority for both rural and wildlife crime and there are many repeat victims across the UK.

“This issue is not about ‘one for the pot’ but part of a network of persistent criminals who will threaten and intimidate our rural communities if challenged and cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to crops, gates and other property.

“They train their dogs on rabbits, hares and even on deer, with no regard for the welfare of wildlife or their dogs and they are willing to travel vast distances into other counties.

“Dorset Police is part of the national strategy between 22 police forces, Operation Galileo, where civil and criminal powers will be used to prevent such offending by hare coursers and protect vulnerable victims.

“I hope this sends a clear message that coursing and other such crimes are not tolerated and we will take robust action against anyone suspected of such an offence.

“This now varied order is a first of its kind for rural crime, in that it bans the defendant from large areas of rural land across three counties and it restricts his ownership of certain dog breeds and cross breeds.”

Sentencing: eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Victim surcharge of £122 and £85 costs. The other man was given a caution. Three-year criminal behaviour order.

Southern Daily Echo

Update 13/03/20: Dorset Police announced on their Facebook page that Cochrane has been jailed after breaching a criminal behaviour order that banned him from being in possession of a catapult.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison on Friday 6 March 2020 after admitting breaching a criminal behaviour order and a suspended sentence order.

On Wednesday 25 December 2019 Dorset Police was made aware of a live stream video that had been uploaded to social media that showed Cochrane sat in the passenger seat of a 4×4 vehicle in a rural location.

The video showed Cochrane pull out a catapult and pretend to fire it at the person who was filming. The occupants then stop the vehicle when they notice something in a field and the video stops moments later.

Cochrane was arrested on Friday 3 January 2020 and admitted that the video had been filmed on Christmas Day 2019 and confirmed it was him in the video. He did not disclose who else was in the video.

When he was sentenced on Friday 6 March 2020 the eight-week suspended term was activated and Cochrane was also sentenced to a further four weeks in prison for breaching the criminal behaviour order, resulting in a total sentence of 12 weeks in prison.

Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, Rural Crime Co-ordinator for Dorset Police, said: “Scott Cochrane showed a blatant disregard for court orders that were in place to protect wild animals as he had previously been sentenced for coursing offences.

“Coursing with dogs and poaching is a national priority for both rural and wildlife crime and there are many repeat victims across the UK.