Category Archives: badger baiting

Greenock, Inverclyde: Patrick Carter

#TheList Patrick Carter, born 17/11/1999, of 30 Lansbury Street, Greenock PA15 2NR – filmed his brutalised dogs ripping wild animals apart in a series of horrific animal fighting videos

Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.
Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.

Carter has been branded ‘barbaric’ after admitting to training his three dogs to attack and kill foxes and badgers and taking them on sickening hunts.

The thug’s vile cruelty — which took place over at least six months — was finally exposed after concern for the dogs was reported to the Scottish SPCA.

Investigators found multiple videos on Carter’s phone showing him and others goading their dogs to fight with foxes and drag badgers from their setts.

One piece of footage showed faceless individuals using spades to hit a doomed badger, as other participants in the barbaric “sport” urged them to allow the dogs to finish it off.

In another sickening video, a badger is pinned in place while dogs attack it.

Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.
Patrick Carter refused to seek vet treatment for his pets’ shocking injuries and instead proudly showed them off.

Carter refused to seek vet treatment for his injured pets despite them suffering serious injuries in battles with badgers.

An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit officer said: “The footage and pictures we uncovered are gut-wrenching.

“The animals he set his dogs on would have endured terrible suffering before they were killed.”

Carter’s dogs, a Patterdale/Jack Russell cross called Laddie, and lurchers Max and Murphy, have now been successfully rehomed.

During the investigation officers uncovered conversations between Carter and a pal discussing animal fighting as well as the result of a recent hunt.

Items associated with animal fighting, including a hunting lamp and used nets, were seized in a raid on his home.

The probe revealed that callous Carter regularly made Laddie, Max and Murphy fight wild animals and the dogs had also suffered severe injuries.

The undercover officer said: “Whilst his dogs appeared to be in good general health when we searched his property, Laddie had severe facial injuries consistent with animal fighting and Max had scarring to the jaw area and his leg.

“On further examination, Laddie and Max were found to have scarring and deformities within the mouth and nose consistent with previous severe traumatic injuries.

“Multiple videos of animal fighting were found on Carter’s personal devices, featuring two lurchers matching Max and Murphy’s description. All of the videos found were incredibly disturbing to view and the animals involved were clearly in great distress and suffered the most horrific end to their lives.

“Over the animals’ screams, voices can be heard in the footage goading and encouraging the dogs to tear the animals apart.”

The investigator said: “Badger baiting and animal fighting are far more common than people would think and anyone engaging in this barbaric activity is inflicting unimaginable pain on the animals involved.”

Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.

Carter is a known associate of Sean Ward, who was jailed for seven months in 2018 and banned from keeping animals for 20 years after his activities were discovered by the Scottish SPCA.

Carter pleaded guilty to keeping or training dogs for the purpose of an animal fight between February 6 and July 3 last year, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Sentencing: 225-hour community payback order; 6-month curfew; one-year’s supervision. Banned from keeping animals for 20 years.

Daily Record

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Alternative address for Patrick Carter: 80 Mackie Avenue, Port Glasgow PA14 5AY.

Longformacus, Duns, Scottish Borders: Alan Wilson

#TheList gamekeeper Alan P Wilson, born c. 1958, of Henlaw Cottage, Longformacus, Duns TD11 3NT – killing dozens of wildlife on Longformacus Estate

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders kept a kill list and dumped 1000 animals into a stink pit designed to attract birds of prey and other animals, which Wilson is suspected of shooting.

Wilson admitted nine charges including killing goshawks, buzzards, badgers and an otter.

The offences were committed on the Longformacus Estate in the Borders between March 2016 and June 2017.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
One source said that Alan Wilson was hellbent on killing anything that moved

The court ruled Wilson was responsible for the deaths of numerous wildlife, including protected species. Investigators found animal corpses including otters, badgers, foxes, birds of prey and more when they searched Henlaw Wood in 2017.

A captive eagle owl which the Scottish SPCA suspects was being used as a live lure on birds of prey who were subsequently shot and killed was also discovered at Wilson’s residence. In 2018, Wilson was fined £400 and banned from keeping birds of prey for ten years for failing to ensure the welfare of the eagle owl.

After an investigation which involved experts from the Scottish SPCA’s special investigation unit (SIU), RSPB and Police Scotland, Wilson was found to have used techniques including illegally set snares and unlawful items such as banned pesticides and gin traps to trap and kill wildlife.

A land inspection also found ‘stink pits’, where dead animal carcasses are left to attract other wildlife. These ‘stink pits’ were surrounded by illegally set snares. Animal remains, including mammal skulls, were recovered.

investigators believe Wilson slaughtered thousands more animals.

One source claimed he was hell-bent on killing “everything that moved” except game birds on the estate that were being bred to be shot by wealthy clients.

One kill list found in Wilson’s home catalogued 1,071 dead animals – including cats, foxes, hedgehogs and stoats.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species

Sheriff Peter Paterson said the offences merited a jail term but he felt he was unable to impose one due to guidelines against short-term sentences.

“The sentencing options open to me at the moment do not reflect society’s views,” he added.

The court was told Wilson had pledged to no longer work as a gamekeeper and was now employed cutting trees.

Police welcomed the sentencing at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at the end of what they called a “complex inquiry” which had been a “large-scale” investigation.

“The illegal killing of birds of prey and protected species cannot, and will not, be tolerated, nor will the inhumane use of illegal traps and pesticides,” said Det Con Andy Loughlin.

An undercover Scottish SPCA investigator described it as a “despicable case of serious and systematic crimes to indiscriminately remove wildlife from an estate”.

“The sheer volume of dead wildlife discovered is truly shocking,” the investigator added.

“We will never know the total number of animals which perished due to Mr Wilson, though had it not been for the robust intervention of Police Scotland, the Scottish SPCA and our other partner agencies, many more would have suffered and perished.”

Sara Shaw, head of the Crown Office’s wildlife and environmental crime unit, said Wilson’s actions amounted to a “campaign of deliberate criminality”.

Duncan Orr-Ewing of RSPB Scotland called it an “absolutely appalling incident involving the illegal killing of a range of protected wildlife.”

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture wildlife forensic scientist Dr Lucy Webster said the investigation had been an “excellent example” of partnership working to “bring a prolific wildlife criminal to justice”.

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports, described it as “one of the worst wildlife crime incidents in recent years”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association said Wilson’s actions were “unacceptable” and “entirely out of step” with conduct it expected from its members.

He said Wilson’s SGA membership would be terminated immediately.

Sentencing: ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and given a restriction of liberty order.

Scottish SPCA
BBC News
Daily Record

Hartlepool: Shaun Brown

#TheList Shaun Brown, born c. 1983, formerly of Runciman Road, Hartlepool, and now of Brenda Road, Hartlepool – fifth member of a gang of badger baiters

Shaun Brown was the driver of gang of badger baiters with the other members – Clint Dodd, Michael Dodd, Connor Pounder and Daniel Joyce – all sentenced last month.

Jane Chadwick, prosecuting, said that when police, alerted by a member of the public, arrived at the sett in Hovingham, west of Malton, Brown tried to drive off but crashed and was arrested walking away from the scene with his dog beside him.

A second dog called Brock, which his co-accused put down the sett, was badly injured.

The other members of the Hartlepool-based badger baiting gang: clockwise from top left Clint Dodd, Daniel Joyce, Connor Pounder and Michael Dodd
The other members of the Hartlepool-based badger baiting gang: clockwise from top left Clint Dodd, Daniel Joyce, Connor Pounder and Michael Dodd

Brown pleaded guilty to digging for badgers, interfering with a badger sett, causing unnecessary suffering to Brock the terrier, careless driving, driving without insurance and without a licence.

District judge Adrian Lower told him he may not have actually helped dig up the sett, or put Brock down it, but he was part of the badger baiting.

“You cannot pretend that you didn’t know what everyone else was going to do when you arrived in North Yorkshire.

“Nearly everyone apart from you and your companions would think that such behaviour is absolutely appalling and involves nothing less than the attempted torture of an animal that cannot properly defend itself against men and a terrier.”

Sentencing: six-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months on condition he stays out of North Yorkshire and doesn’t associate with any other members of the gang. Banned from driving for 12 months; ordered to pay £368.02 towards the costs of treating and caring for the injured Brock, a £115 statutory surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.

The district judge did not give Brown an animal ban. He said Brown’s dog was uninjured and did not appear to have been used for badger baiting, so he could keep her.

York Press

Hartlepool, County Durham: Clint Dodd, Michael Dodd, Daniel Joyce and Connor Pounder

#TheList badger baiters Clint Dodd, born 09/04/1996, and Michael Dodd, born 1991, both of 43 Thornhill Gardens, Hartlepool TS26 0JF, Connor Pounder, born c. 1996, of 31 Speeding Drive, Hartlepool TS24 9QE and Daniel Joyce, born c. 1990, of 70 Granville Avenue, Hartlepool TS26 8NA

Badger baiters from Hartlepool, County Durham: Clint Dodd, Michael Dodd, Daniel Joyce, Connor Pounder
Badger baiters from Hartlepool, Co Durham

Brothers Clint and Michael Dodd and accomplices Daniel Joyce and Connor Pounder, all of Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to offences under the Badger Act 1992 and Animal Welfare Act 2006 after they were found interfering with a known badger sett in the village of Hovingham, North Yorkshire.

Jagd terrier Brock suffered horrific facial injuries after being forced into a badger sett by his cruel owners
Jagd terrier Brock suffered horrific facial injuries after being forced into a badger sett by his cruel owners

The gang admitted digging for badgers, interfering with a badger sett and causing unnecessary suffering to a Jagd Terrier named Brock who they were using to send down the badger sett.

A fifth defendant, Shaun Brown, 28, of Runciman Road, Hartlepool, failed to attend court and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Badger baiting brothers Clint and Michael Dodd from Hartlepool, Co Durham
Badger baiting brothers Clint and Michael Dodd from Hartlepool, Co Durham

A member of the public spotted a group of men close to a known badger sett in Hovingham on 11 January 2019 and immediately reported it to North Yorkshire Police. When officers arrived, they found four of the men digging the sett and scanning the ground with a tracker locator device trying to trace a dog which was currently in the sett.

The terrier dog, Brock, was underweight and found with serious injuries to his face and muzzle as well as painful ulcerations to his eyes and an untreated eye infection. He was treated by local vets and will now be rehomed.

The Jagd Terrier is a German breed, renowned for their hunting abilities so will often be used to engage in illegal activities such as badger baiting. The name ‘Brock’ is also a colloquialism for badger.

Badger baiter Connor Pounder from Hartlepool, Co Durham
Connor Pounder

North Yorkshire Police’s Inspector Kevin Kelly is Head of the national Badger Persecution Priority Delivery Group (BPPDG). He said: “I took on this role because I’m serious about badger crime and I hope this sentencing result sends a clear message that badger persecution will not be tolerated. You interfere with badger sets, you receive a custodial sentence – it’s as simple as that.

“Wildlife crime can often be contested and hard fought in the court room so it’s positive to see the defendants in this case plead guilty on first appearance. It demonstrates the importance of the partnership working that we have championed in the BPPDG – using the skills and knowledge of key partners, former wildlife crime officers and expert witnesses to present a strong case to the Crown Prosecution Service.

“This case has been led by one of North Yorkshire Police’s new Wildlife Crime Officers, PC Rory Sadler and it’s great to see such a positive result. I’d also like to praise the actions of the member of the public who reported the sett disturbance. It’s really important that people are vigilant to wildlife crime and we start working on our legacy now to develop the next generation.”

Badger baiter Michael Dodd from Hartlepool, Co Durham
Michael Dodd

RSPCA Inspector and National Wildlife Officer Coordinator, Geoff Edmond, said: “The RSPCA works very closely with North Yorkshire Police to achieve best practice when investigating rural and wildlife crime. Significant results are now being seen in the courts.

Brock has recovered from his ordeal and will be rehomed

“This case highlights the skills and expertise being achieved which sends a strong message that crimes like this involving cruelty to badgers and injuries to the dogs involved will be investigated and dealt with seriously at court. Badger related crime is horrific, unnecessary and will not be tolerated.”

Sentencing: Clint Dodd, Joyce and Pounder were each given a 10-week suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay costs. . They were ordered not to enter North Yorkshire for 12 months. Michael Dodd was already in receipt of a suspended sentence for driving whilst disqualified and was consequently jailed for 14 weeks. All four were disqualified from keeping dogs for five years.

North Yorkshire Police

Update 17 August 2019: the fifth member of the gang Shaun Brown was given a suspended sentence.

Badger baiter Shaun Brown from Hartlepool

He was not banned from keeping animals as his dog was seemingly injured with the judge taking from this he had not been used for badger baiting.

Dulverton, Somerset: Daniel Brockley

#TheList wildlife persecutor and dog killer Daniel John William Brockley, born 24/03/1989, of 6 Bury, Dulverton, West Somerset TA22 9NE – allowed his terrier to work underground knowing there was a risk of him becoming injured

Wildlife persecutor and dog killer Daniel Brockley of Dulverton, West Somerset

Brockley, who is employed as a gamekeeper by shoot management firm Loyton LLP based at the Haddeo Estate in the Exe valley, was found guilty after a two day trial.

He was also charged with an offence of intent to kill, injure or take a badger but was found not guilty as ‘beyond reasonable doubt’

Wildlife persecutor and dog killer Daniel Brockley of Dulverton, West Somerset

In August 2018 the RSPCA, police and DEFRA carried out a raid at Brockley’s home and seized mobile phones. Text messages between Brockley and head keeper Alan Floyd referred to digging for vixens, fox cubs and badgers.

Images on Brockley’s phone showed a dog named Henry who had suffered horrific facial injuries. Vets said the nature of Henry’s wounds were consistent with badger fighting.

The court heard that on three separate occasions – January 18, 2017, 19 May, 2017 and January 30 2019 – Brockley had put a Patterdale terrier named Rock at risk of injury by forcing him to work underground.

According to the RSPCA, photos showing Rock’s de-gloved lower jaw – where skin has been removed as a result of an injury – and text messages about his condition were shared by Brockley.

A text message from January 2017 said “Dug Rock again tonite!” and was accompanied by a photo on Brockley’s phone of a locator receiver showing a depth of 0.8m.

In May 2017 Brockley texted a picture of Rock with full degloving injury of his lower jaw and wrote: “This is the last time I dug him last May…I’ve not worked him since coz had to revive him after that one”.

A witness told the court that Rock had died after being shot and disposed of by Brockley “to try and cover his back”.

There was evidence that other dogs had died in similar circumstances while in the care of Daniel Brockley.

Magistrates decided against banning Brockley from keeping animals as he has had many dogs in the past, Rock was described as being otherwise kept well and was well loved, and a ban would lead to Brockley losing his livelihood and accommodation.

Sentencing: 140 hours of unpaid work; total of £2,335 costs and charges.

Somerset County Gazette
Somerset Badger Group
SomersetLive

Caldicot/Blaina/Brecon, Wales: Ryan Harrison, Tomas Young and Cyle Jones

#TheList Ryan Harrison, born c. 1994, of Masefield Road, Caldicot, Monmouthshire NP26 4JY, Tomas Young, born c. 1993, of East Pentwyn, Blaina, Abertillery, Monmouthshire NP13, and Cyle Jones, born 09/11/1987, of Cwrt Tarrell, Newgate Street, Brecon, Powys LD3 8ED – for the barbaric persecution of wildlife, which included skinning alive a baby badger, and cruelty including violence to dogs

Welsh badger baiters Tomas Young, Cyle Jones and Ryan Harrison
Clockwise from the left Tomas Young, Cyle Jones and Ryan Harrison

Ryan Harrison, Cyle Jones and Tomas Young were jailed for badger baiting and animal cruelty following a probe by a BBC Wales TV programme.

Welsh badger baiter Cyle Jones
Cyle Jones

The court was told that an RSPCA inquiry was launched following an undercover investigation by BBC Wales Investigates. The programme entitled The Secret World of Badger Baiters was shown in May 2018 and is currently available to watch on YouTube.

Following the programme’s broadcast warrants were executed at the addresses of the three individuals identified, being Young, Harrison and Jones

Welsh badger baiter Ryan Harrison
Ryan Harrison

A phone seized from Harrison contained numerous videos, text messages and images depicting hunting and animal cruelty offences. Video clips alone amounted to 447 with the majority of the material extreme in its nature.

The animal cruelty footage showed wildlife being killed and dogs with extensive injuries from being used to hunt animals. The voice of Harrison was heard and there were videos and pictures showing Young.

The RSPCA special operations unit also were able to view footage obtained by the BBC.

One particular horrific incident involved a baby badger which had been skinned alive by dogs.

The badger’s skin was split down the middle and pulled back from the body.

Shortly after the baby badger is seen to be still alive and is killed by Young hitting it with a shovel.

District Judge Neil Thomas described the trio’s offences as “medieval barbarity”.

Welsh badger baiter Ryan Harrison
Ryan Harrison

Harrison and Young pleaded guilty to six joint offences in that they did wilfully kill, injure or take a badger on four different occasions.

They also admitted attempting to take or kill a deer in the Forest of Dean, and causing unnecessary suffering to a boar by letting it be attacked by dogs and by stabbing the animal with a knife.

Harrison also pleaded guilty to another nine offences.These were:

  • Attempting to take or kill a deer
  • Attempting to wilfully kill, injure or take a badger on two occasions
  • Causing unnecessary suffering to a terrier dog called Ted by failing to obtain professional veterinary care for injuries to the dog’s lip and chin
  • Causing unnecessary suffering to a terrier by failing to obtain professional veterinary care for injuries to the dog’s chin area
  • Causing unnecessary suffering to a boar by causing the said animal to be attacked by dogs and by stabbing the said animal with a knife
  • Causing unnecessary suffering to terrier called Brock by failing to obtain professional veterinary care for injuries to the dog’s neck area
  • Two other charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a boar, by causing the animal to be attacked by dogs
Welsh badger baiter Cyle Jones
Cyle Jones

Jones admitted two charges of unnecessary cruelty to animals, relating to two dogs that were injured.

He was given a custodial sentence because he was not allowed to keep dogs, having been previously convicted of having a dog dangerously out of control.

Welsh badger baiter Tomas Young
Tomas Young

In their defence, the men said they had grown up with countryside pursuits.

There was no mitigation, said the judge, as far as he could see.

“The absence of remorse was obvious,” he said.

Chief inspector Ian Briggs, from the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said: “The RSPCA’s special operations unit has to investigate some truly gruesome acts on animals. But the prolific nature of these horrific crimes are some of the worst I – and my inspectors – have ever had the displeasure of witnessing.

“This barbaric, deliberate and calculated torture has caused wildlife and dogs to suffer immeasurably, solely for the sadistic pleasure of a handful of depraved individuals.

“BBC Wales’ initial work on this case was very important, and firmly in the public interest – paving the way for the RSPCA to undertake this investigation and bring these perpetrators to justice.

“Sadly, people who enjoy inflicting such pain and suffering on wildlife continue to offend in Wales. The RSPCA will not rest in bringing people like these to justice.

“As well as BBC Wales, we’d also like to thank the police forces who assisted us on this case – Gwent Police, South Wales Police, Dyfed Powys and Gloucestershire Police.”

Sentencing: Ryan Harrison was jailed for 22 weeks, Thomas Young got 20 weeks and Cyle Jones was given 18 weeks. All three defendants were banned from keeping dogs for life.

BBC News
South Wales Argus

Cowbridge, South Glamorgan: Molly Rose

#TheList Molly Rose (aka Molly Price or Molly Rees), born c. 2001, of Ystradowen, Cowbridge, South Glamorgan, Wales CF71 – exposed for illegally hunting badgers and foxes with dogs in a 2018 BBC documentary

Teenager Molly Rose of Cowbridge in Wales glorifies illegal hunting with dogs on social media and participates in it herself
Teenager Molly Rose of Cowbridge in Wales glorifies illegal hunting with dogs on social media and participates in it herself

In May 2018 current affairs programme BBC Wales Investigates exposed the brutal reality of illegal hunting with dogs. ‘The Secret World of Badger Baiters‘ showed undercover reporters infiltrating two gangs: one led by Christian Latcham of Tonypandy, who had already been successfully prosecuted for the crime in 2011 and banned from keeping dogs indefinitely, and the other by Tomas Young of Blaina, Abertillery who was convicted alongside Ryan Harrison of Caldicot and Cyle Jones of Brecon in June 2019.

Teenager Molly Rose of Cowbridge in Wales glorifies illegal hunting with dogs on social media and participates in it herself

A reporter posing as someone wanting to get into digging spoke on the telephone with self-proclaimed “Terrier Queen” Molly Rose. Rose, who has links to the travelling community, runs two Facebook groups dedicated to terrier-work and regularly posts photos and videos of her own pack of working dogs to her thousands of followers.

Molly Rose's dog Stan displays injuries typically caused in badger fights
Molly Rose’s dog Stan displays injuries typically caused in badger fights

One of Rose’s dogs – Patterdale terrier Stan – whom she claims has been on 35 digs, has injuries to his lower jaw that are typically seen on a dog that has been in a fight with a badger.

Using the name ‘Aaron’ the reporter asks Rose for advice on the best type of dog to get for digging work. It’s not long before she starts talking about illegal hunting, telling Aaron that the choice of dog depends on whether he’s going to be digging for foxes or badgers.

Teenager Molly Rose of Cowbridge in Wales glorifies illegal hunting with dogs on social media and participates in it herself

She talks about the possibility of “digging a dog dead” and admits that she has “dug two dogs dead this season” [we think this means the dog becomes trapped underground and suffocates].

Molly Rose's dog Stan displays injuries typically caused in badger fights

At this point she admits that a badger had ‘scrammed’ the front of her dog’s face, causing him to lose his jaw.

Rose then goes on to advise the reporter on how not to get caught when illegally digging with dogs, telling him that setts can be protected and to watch out for cameras. She advises him to go out digging with men who know what they’re doing.

The reporter does this and witnesses scenes of appalling cruelty to a deer, a boar and a badger cub who is skinned alive by dogs.

When the BBC put their evidence to Molly Rose, she refused to be interviewed and denied that she was involved in badger or fox digging or had ever given advice to anyone on how to do it. She also backtracked on the cause of her dog Stan’s injuries, claiming he’d been caught on barbed wire as a puppy.

Teenager Molly Rose of Cowbridge in Wales glorifies illegal hunting with dogs on social media and participates in it herself

A year after The Secret Life of Badger Baiters was aired Molly Rose has not yet been prosecuted and continues undeterred. The evidence obtained by BBC Wales investigators that this callous young woman participates in a bloodsport that causes unthinkable cruelty to wildlife and dogs alike is very strong. It’s time to throw the book at her.

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Update 29/06/19
We are advised that “traveller wannabe” Molly Rose is a horse trader and also breeds puppies from her grandmother’s yard. Our contact told us the following:

That Molly Rees aka Molly Rose aka Molly Price is a bad egg. She’s breeding puppies like they’re going out of fashion. So does her mother and grandmother. She lives in her grandmother’s yard in a static caravan. The place is filthy and her nan runs a grooming business from there. It’s dreadful. There’s filthy matted dogs loose everywhere there and she breeds from them now.

The RSPCA went there but Molly kicked off big time on them and refused to unlock the gate so they left and by the time they went back with the police Molly and her nan moved all the dogs apart from 3 out of the 12.

Molly also deals horses none of their animals are cared for. It’s a disgrace.

Molly’s been hunting since.13/14 when she hit puberty. She was a talented rider as a child, went to Horse of the Year Show etc, then she discovered the travellers sold cheap horses.

She started dealing when she was 14. Been a traveller wannabe since.

Port Glasgow, Inverclyde: Sean Ward

#TheList Sean Ward, born c. 1991, originally from Greenock and more recently of Dougliehill Terrace, Port Glasgow PA14 – kept fighting dogs for killing wildlife including badgers, deer and foxes

Sean Ward from Port Glasgow kept fighting dogs for killing wildlife including badgers, deer and foxes.
Sheriff Craig Harris described Ward’s behaviour ”evil and sadistic” as he jailed Ward for seven months and banned him from keeping dogs for 20 years.

Violent career criminal and wildlife persecutor Sean Ward was jailed for seven months after Scottish SPCA investigators uncovered evidence of his appalling animal cruelty. This included text messages in which Ward described setting dogs on a fox as “some buzz” as well as a sick video showing a live deer being restrained by it hind legs as voices urged dogs to attack it.

Photographs of Ward smiling beside the dead animal later emerged.

Sean Ward from Port Glasgow kept fighting dogs for killing wildlife including badgers, deer and foxes.

The habitual thug, who has multiple previous convictions for weapons offences and violence, pleaded guilty to two charges under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act on summary complaint.

Sean Ward from Port Glasgow kept fighting dogs for killing wildlife including badgers, deer and foxes.

Ward was caught after a dog walker spotted him out with an injured dog in Port Glasgow in April 2018.

The black and white Jack Russell terrier was limping, had cuts and blood on her limbs and chest as well as a severe injury to her face.

The dog walker filmed the injured dog and sent footage to the Scottish SPCA.

Sean Ward from Port Glasgow kept fighting dogs for killing wildlife including badgers, deer and foxes.

The court heard police officers and Scottish SPCA investigators carried out a series of raids at Ward’s home after receiving the video from the concerned dog walker.

On one occasion, they found a Patterdale Terrier with scars on her face.

Sean Ward from Port Glasgow kept fighting dogs for killing wildlife including badgers, deer and foxes.

The animal was taken to a Scottish SPCA facility where she was examined by a vet. He found that the injuries were consistent with face-to-face fighting with a badger.

The vet viewed the film taken of the Jack Russell. In his opinion, the dog’s injuries were also consistent with face-to-face fighting with a badger.

A mobile phone seized during a search of Ward’s home was examined and a number of images and video were found.

One of the photographs showed Ward with a dead deer, a white lurcher and a Jack Russell.

Sean Ward from Port Glasgow kept fighting dogs for killing wildlife including badgers, deer and foxes.

A video of three dogs savaging a deer was also found where people were heard urging the dogs to attack.

Sara Shaw, head of the Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), welcomed the sentence.

She said: “These dogs caused terrible and unnecessary suffering with numerous wounds and scars.

“COPFS will continue to work to ensure those who participate in this barbaric practice are prosecuted and would encourage anyone who may have information on dog fighting to contact the police or Scottish SPCA.”

Sentencing: Jailed for seven months. Banned from keeping animals for 20 years.

BBC News
The Sun

Ilkley, West Yorkshire: Austin Hawke

#TheList gamekeeper Austin Hawke, born 1967, of The Bungalow, Ling Park, Ilkley LS29 0EJ – killed a badger in a trap

A badger died a cruel and horrible neglect as a result of gamekeeper Austin Hawke’s cavalier attitude towards wildlife management

The badger had been lured to a ‘stink pit’ at High Denton Farm, near Ilkley, where dead and decaying animals are legitimately placed in a pile to lure vermin so they can be destroyed.

Austin Hawke – a head keeper of the Denton Park Estate, had denied failing to inspect a snare every day it remained in position. The offence was contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Hawke had set eight wire snares at four entrances to a 25 metre by 25 metre fenced off area of moorland before Easter 2018.

The aim was to lure foxes, the target species which Hawke had a licence from Defra to destroy, to the pit.

The square pit had four entrance holes cut into the fencing mesh with the snares placed nearby.

The pit was around 100 metres away from a footpath.

However, Hawke claimed the snares had been ‘deactivated’ on Good Friday (March 30, 2018) because he was conscious there could be an increase in visitors and walkers to the moorland over the Easter break.

The RSPCA is against the use of snares because they trap animals indiscriminately and cause tremendous suffering. Not that this would faze a gamekeeper like Austin Hawke

He said, generally, deactivating snares involved loosening the wire so the loop part, which the animals are snared by, is made smaller and wrapped around a ‘tealer’, a semi-rigid wire which holds the loop in the air at the correct height, and laying it down in undergrowth nearby.

On this occasion he admitted the snares had been left in situ but said the loops had been loosened and made so small as to prevent hares or badgers getting tangled in them.

He said the idea was to re-set them after a few weeks.

Prosecuting Rob Yates said the badger had been found by walker and bird watcher Andrew Jowett on May 28 last year.

The police were called to the site. Sergeant Stuart Grainger, of North Yorkshire Police, said he attended the site, one kilometre north of High Denton Farm, on May 29. The dead badger was in one of the snares which was attached to a wooden stake in the ground and “looked as if it had been dead for several days”. He said it was in such an advanced state of decay that its innards fell away when it was raised from the ground. He said the snare had cut into the badger’s flesh.

Hawke acknowledged legislation required gamekeepers to check snares at least once every 24 hours but he argued that as he had deactivated them there was no reason to check them.

He said he had been a gamekeeper for 35 years.

He said when in use, the traps and snares are checked daily and any non-target species trapped in them, such as hares and badgers, are released.

“We don’t want to cause unnecessary suffering,” Hawke said, stating he regarded the capture of a non-target species as a ‘tragedy’.

He said he had made an inspection of the area prior to setting the snares and he had seen no evidence of badgers being present, which can be seen through their droppings or hair on fences.

Defending, Amber Walker said her client had an exemplary record as a game keeper and was skilled in his job and honest.

“The snares were not left in such a state they posed a threat to non-target species. Mr Hawke has said if he had not been sure of this he would have gone back to check,” she said.

She also claimed there was a possibility that animal rights activists could have been responsible in order to have the blame laid at the feet of the game keeper.

“Removing a head keeper (through conviction) would be quite a scalp (by some activists) even if it meant the death of a badger,” she said.

Mr Yates claimed it was unlikely that animal rights people who campaigned against animal cruelty and disapproved of capturing animals would set snares.

Instead, he said Hawke had left the snares in position and was under a legal obligation to check them every 24 hours.

Magistrates found Hawke guilty of the charge, but stated it was an ‘isolated act of negligence, rather than intent’.

Sergeant Kev Kelly, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force, said: “This case was reported following a member of the public who was aware of our proactive work under Operation Owl.

“From the evidence collected, it was apparent that the badger had suffered before it had eventually died after being caught in the snare. Therefore this case was fully investigated to ensure other animals didn’t undergo the same fate.

“If the defendant had been using breakaway snares it is less likely that he would have killed the badger.

“I am disappointed as we have been doing some really good partnership working with local Nidderdale keepers who want to show the public good practice and accountability.

“Hawke’s conviction will no doubt have an impact on how his profession is viewed. I think he has done his wider colleagues a disservice.”

Geoff Edmond, RSPCA National Wildlife Coordinator, said: “The RSPCA continues to work closely with the North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force and this result highlights the strength of partnership working under Operation Owl.

“This badger will have suffered a horrific and prolonged death having been snared in this way.

“The RSPCA is against the use of snares because they are indiscriminate in what they catch and they cause tremendous suffering. But while they remain legal we hope we can work together with the Police and National Gamekeepers’ Organisation to raise awareness of the good practice guide so as to improve accountability.”

Sentencing: 12-month conditional discharge. Costs and charges totalling £645.

Telegraph and Argus

Badger Baiters from Doncaster, Bridlington and Hull

#TheList Andrew Booth, born c. 1974, of West Road, Moorends, Doncaster; George Horner, born c. 1992, of 30 Brett Street, Bridlington; John Horner, born c. 1999, of 77 Constable Road, Bridlington; Kirk McGarry, born c. 1968, of Southfield Road, Thorne, Doncaster; Richard Willey, born c. 1972, of Westlands Road, Hull – used dogs to attack a badger sett

Cruel badger baiters Andrew Booth, Kirk McGarry, John Horner, George Horner and Richard Willey and terrier Paddy who suffered serious facial injuries

Andrew Booth, Kirk McGarry, John Horner, George Horner and Richard Willey used two dogs, one of whom was heavily pregnant, to attack a badger sett.

They were each found guilty of wildlife and animal cruelty offences at Beverley Magistrates’ Court.

Badger baiter John Horner from Bridlington
The youngest of the five convicted men: John-Joe Horner
Badger baiter Richard Willey from Hull
Richard Willey

On the afternoon of 30 December 2017 a concerned member of the public reported to the police that five men with dogs were digging into a badger sett at Melton in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Badger baiter George Horner from Bridlington
George Horner is a failed professional boxer

A number of officers including several wildlife crime officers quickly attended the location and found four men continuing to dig into what appeared to the officers to be an active badger sett.

Jess and Charlotte were found at the scene

Four terrier-type dogs were seized at the time of the incident. One dog, Paddy, was seriously injured and was lucky to survive. A second dog, Dizzy, was heavily pregnant when she was seized and gave birth to a puppy, named Romeo, who is now one year old. Two other dogs, Charlotte and Jess, were also seized. All five dogs have been kennelled and have responded well to the care and attention they have received.

Paddy nearly died from his injuries, which were consistent with badger fighting

Ch Insp Iain Dixon said: “Badger digging is a cruel and barbaric activity and involves horrendous suffering to both the badger and any dog involved.

“In this particular case one dog, named Dizzy, was very far into pregnancy, giving birth within a few weeks of the incident which shows the uncaring and callous nature of those involved all the more.”

Sentencing: the five men were sentenced to a maximum term of six months in prison. They have each also received three year Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) and were told to pay £2,000 costs for dog kennelling and vet’s fees. All are banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

BBC News