Category Archives: badger baiting

Flimby, Cumbria: Callum Frew

#TheList Callum Jay Frew, born June 1997, of Lavender Hill, Flimby Brow, Flimby, Maryport CA15 8TD – member of a gang of sadistic hunters that inflected pain and suffering on wildlife

Callum Frew
Callum Frew is banned from keeping all animals for life

Callum Frew is the final member of a vile hunting gang to be sentenced for persecuting badgers, foxes and deer. The other members, Dillon Broderick, Kai Cartwright, John James Thompson and Scott David Martin Walpole, were sentenced in August 2020.

Company director Frew admitted a total of ten offences. These include wilfully killing a badger, causing suffering to a fox by encouraging dogs to chase and attack it, failing to provide veterinary care for his lurcher who had infected painful injuries to its face. They happened between 2018 and 2019

The prosecution came after an RSPCA investigation into material depicting wildlife crime was discovered on a mobile phone by police looking into a separate case. The RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit launched an investigation into footage showing the men badger digging and baiting. Further investigation then revealed more offences against Frew.

Investigating officer Jason Bowles said: “The footage shows the men and their dogs inflicting pain and suffering on innocent wildlife.

“Badger baiting and digging are brutal and illegal blood sports which sees violence being inflicted on wild animals as well as painful injuries on the dogs who are used.

“Frew and others appeared in images and footage showing the men out with their dogs, digging down into badger setts and setting dogs on the animals. It’s extremely upsetting to see the badger being attacked by the dogs and to hear their cries as they’re killed. We then discovered that there was more evidence against Frew showing him setting his dogs on foxes and badgers and brought more charges against him.”

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 the 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: concurrent jail terms of 120 days on each offence, suspended for 18 months. Community order with 26-week curfew and 100 hours of unpaid work. Ordered to pay costs of £2,000 and a victim surcharge of £122. His mobile phones were ordered to be destroyed. Disqualified from keeping all animals for life. Deprivation order on two whippet-type dogs.

News and Star

Lochgelly, Fife: Martin Davidson

#TheList Martin Davidson, born 12/10/1995, of Abbotsford Road, Lochore, Lochgelly KY5 8DT- trained four dogs to violently bait wild animals including badgers ; failed to treat his dogs’ fighting injuries

Martin Davidson social media image
Martin Davidson

Davidson kept videos of his dogs viciously attacking foxes and sickeningly posed for pictures with the injured or dead animals.

The father-of-two trained his dogs for animal fighting including badger baiting.

Dog with horrific facial scarring
Davidson failed to take any of his dogs for veterinary treatment for their horrific facial injuries

He pleaded guilty to the charge along with failing to provide veterinary treatment to an injured dog in his care.

Davidson was investigated by the Scottish SPCA after the charity received intelligence about his behaviour.

A sheriff deferred Davidson’s sentencing until October 2, 2020, but issued him with an interim ban of owning, keeping or dealing with dogs for the next five years.

Martin Davidson social media image
Doomed: Davidson with his offspring

Three of the dogs involved in the case were male, brindle coloured bull lurchers named Tramp, Mojo and Sid. The other was a female, white and tan, Staffordshire bull terrier named Lady.

The dogs were found injured as a result of the hunting and are now in the care of the SSPCA where they will be rehabilitated.

Shameless Davidson regularly uploads images of shocking animal cruelty to social media
Shameless Davidson regularly uploads images of shocking animal cruelty to social media

An SSPCA special investigations unit undercover inspector, who cannot be named, said: “We received intelligence that Davidson was keeping and training dogs for the purposes of animal fighting.

“We obtained a search warrant and gained entry to the home of Davidson where we found the four dogs.

One of the dogs rescued from a life of pain and misery at the hands of monstrous Martin Davidson
One of the dogs rescued from a life of pain and misery at the hands of monstrous Martin Davidson

“The Staffordshire bull terrier, Lady, was in the house. She had significant scarring to her muzzle and lower jaw. These injuries are consistent with animal fighting, in particular badger baiting.

“The three lurchers were found outdoors in a kennel and run in the rear garden, far too small for their size and breed. Two had obvious, fresh injuries to their ears and heads.

“We also found animal fighting paraphernalia at Davidson’s residence.

Social media post claiming it's
“It’s all lies!” Davidson’s foul-mouthed partner tries to convince people (maybe even herself) that he’s just misunderstood

“This included hunting gear, blood-stained wellies and a spot lamp commonly using for lamping with dogs, which is hunting at night.

“Multiple images were discovered of his dogs pictured with dead animals at night. Some featured the dogs viciously gripping foxes between their jaws.

“During interview, Davidson admitted that the four dogs were not registered with a vet and did not receive any medication or treatment to ease their suffering from any of the injuries they had sustained

“Other photos showed Lady, Tramp, Mojo and Sid in the back of Davidson’s vehicle at night with fresh injuries. Our expert vets determined these were consistent with animal fighting, specifically with badgers and foxes.

“The disregard that Davidson had for the welfare of the wild animals he forced his dogs to fight, and for his own dogs, is unfathomable. The dogs are in our care and are currently receiving the rehabilitation they need.

“We are pleased the sheriff issued the immediate ban which will stop Davidson owning or having any dealings with dogs.

“By ordering this, the sheriff is recognising the immediate threat that Davidson poses to any canine in his care. We look forward to the full sentencing in this case.

Central Fife Times
Daily Record

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

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

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Update 11/09/2020 Connor’s prison sentence was overturned by the Sheriff Appeal Court in Edinburgh. He was given 130 hours of unpaid community work instead.

Connor’s lawyer Jackson Bateman of Charles Ferguson Solicitors had urged the court to “stop short” of jailing Connor.

He said: “He was only 18 at the time and comes from a family who viewed that sort of behaviour as acceptable.”

Daily Record

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

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

Gainsborough, Lincolnshire: Ryan Smith

#TheList badger baiter Ryan Michael Smith, born 06/07/1993, of 3 Noel Street, Gainsborough DN21 2RY

Badger baiter Ryan Michael Smith from Gainsborough
Badger baiter Ryan Michael Smith from Gainsborough

Smith, who has previous convictions for violence and spent time in prison, pleaded guilty to interfering with a badger sett and attempting to kill a badger when he appeared before Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how Smith was among three people who were spotted by a gamekeeper on land near Beckingham, Nottinghamshire.

Accomplices Dale Shields and Murphy Thorne were sentenced separately.

The gamekeeper suspected the trio were badger baiting – which is where a dog is sent into a sett to flush out the badger and attack it for the handler to then dig the badger out and kill it or take it away for it to be killed at a later date.

Police were alerted and Shields and Thorne were arrested close to the scene. Smith was arrested by police on the same day away from badger sett. He initially denied the offences but changed his plea ahead of a trial.

Officers found a six-foot hole had been dug into the badger sett and there were spades nearby. A net which is often used to capture badgers was also found.

Two dogs, wearing radio collars, were also seized and were taken to a nearby vets in Retford for treatment as they had facial and dental injuries. One dog was in a collapsed state at the scene due to exhaustion.

The RSPCA were alerted to the incident and inspector Keith Ellis began an investigation.

He called the help of an expert badger witness who said the badger sett was active and had been disturbed. No dead badger was recovered but Inspector Ellis said it is possible the badger had died in the sett.

A veterinary expert who examined both Patterdale Terriers said the facial wounds were consistent with them been involved in a fight with another animal of a similar size and stature.

Inspector Ellis said: “The gamekeeper said he could see the men jump into a six-foot hole which they had dug down into the badger sett so he called the police.

“When they attended the scene it was clear that the sett had been interfered with and there were spades nearby.

“The dogs were wearing radio-collars which are used so the owners can locate where they are underground and when the dogs locate the badger the handlers dig down and usually kill the badger.”

In mitigation, Smith said he had ‘tagged along with the other two’.

The forfeiture of the dogs into RSPCA care was ordered and both are doing well. They are due to be re-homed soon.

Sentencing: 18-week jail sentence suspended for two months; ordered to pay £415. Deprivation order on his dogs. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.

Gainsborough Standard

Dewsbury, West Yorkshire: Anthony Oakes

#TheList Anthony Steven John Oakes, born 08/09/1986, of 96 Edge Lane, Dewsbury WF12 0HB – left his dogs to suffer with serious facial injuries consistent with badger fighting.

Badger baiter Anthony Oakes from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, left his dog to suffer with facial injuries caused in a fight
Smirking and unremorseful animal abuser Anthony Oakes

Oakes, who together with partner Amy Lauren Auty, runs an outdoor clothing company called Oakes Outdoors Ltd, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the five dogs by failing to take them to a vet.

Badger baiter Anthony Oakes from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, left his dog to suffer with facial injuries caused in a fight

In February 2019, West Yorkshire Police and the RSPCA together executed two warrants in Dewsbury after intelligence was gathered about dogs being injured.

Badger baiter Anthony Oakes from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, left his dog to suffer with facial injuries caused in a fight

Five Patterdale terriers were found and seized from a property and all had serious injuries, mainly on their faces, consistent with badger baiting.

One of the dogs had a severely infected eye which had to be removed.

Sentencing: 200 hours of community service; fined £500. Disqualified from keeping dogs for two years. All five dogs were signed over to the RSPCA for rehoming.

Dewsbury Reporter

Welsh badger Baiting Ring: Christian Latcham, Jamie Rush, Cyle Jones and Thomas Young

#TheList badger baiters Christian Adam Latcham, born 02/09/87, of Cymmer Road, Porth CF39 9BE, Jamie Richard Rush, born 13/03/92 of Church View, Talgarth, Brecon LD3 0DG, Cyle Griffith Jones, born 09/11/87, of Cwrt Tarrell, Newgate Street, Brecon, Powys LD3 8ED, and Thomas Lawrence Young, born 16/12/92, of no fixed abode but with links to Portskewett in Caldicot and Blaina, Abertillery

South Wales badger baiters Tomas Young, Christian Latcham, Cyle Jones and Jamie Rush jailed after BBC undercover investigation
South Wales badger baiters Thomas Young, Christian Latcham, Cyle Jones and Jamie Rush jailed after BBC undercover investigation.

Latcham, Jones, Rush and Young were caught badger baiting by an undercover journalist working for BBC Wales. All four denied the charges against them, but were found guilty following a trial.

South Wales badger baiters Tomas Young, Christian Latcham, Cyle Jones and Jamie Rush jailed after BBC undercover investigation
Christian Latcham has 12 previous convictions for 24 offences, including for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

The four men loaded a pick-up van with shovels and dogs to go to a “pre-arranged” location to dig for badgers in the countryside.

Thomas Young outside court
Tomas Young also has previous animal cruelty convictions.

Prosecutor Jon Tarrant said: “They were attempting to take a badger.”

The group did not know they had been joined by the undercover investigator – known as John.

South Wales badger baiters Tomas Young, Christian Latcham, Cyle Jones and Jamie Rush jailed after BBC undercover investigation
Cyle Jones has 13 previous convictions for 18 offences, including animal cruelty.

Giving evidence, a BBC researcher said Young introduced him to three other men before they set off on the hunt on March 24, 2018.

He said: “The discussions were that Thomas, Christian and two other individuals were going to West Wales to a pre-designated location and that they were going to be digging for badgers.”

He added that the men met at Latcham’s house where he had a garage transformed into “kennels” – with cages and dogs.

They then set off from the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, to Llanddewi Velfrey in Pembrokeshire.

Christian Latcham
Serial abuser Christian Latcham

The undercover investigator said the men discussed that they would “dig for billies/badgers” on the journey.

He said when the men arrived at a field they donned “wellies and country wear” and put collars on the dogs to track their whereabouts.

He said: “They explained to me what would happen when they put the dogs down into the tubes, as they called it. Into the set.

“They explained about monitoring the dog in the ground.”

The court heard that when the dog stopped underground the men began to dig.

He added: “When it stopped I was told that was when we would dig down.

“When we dug down there wasn’t anything with that dog.

“We repeated this cycle for a number of hours.”

The court heard that larger dogs were brought to the holes “in readiness” to attack the badgers.

One hole was so deep that Latcham’s head could not be seen above the ground as he stood in it.

South Wales badger baiters Tomas Young, Christian Latcham, Cyle Jones and Jamie Rush jailed after BBC undercover investigation

Christian Latcham has 12 previous convictions for 24 offences, including for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Cyle Jones has 13 previous convictions for 18 offences, including animal cruelty.

Rush has eight previous convictions for nine offences and has previously been sentenced to two years in prison.

South Wales badger baiters Tomas Young, Christian Latcham, Cyle Jones and Jamie Rush jailed after BBC undercover investigation
Rush has eight previous convictions for nine offences and has previously been sentenced to two years in prison.

Of the four defendents only Rush gave evidence during the four day trial in front of District Judge Neil Thomas.

Judge Thomas said: “I have no difficulty coming to the unreserved conclusion, that he was not telling the truth.”

Badger baiter Jamie Rush
Jamie Rush shows precisely why he’s an inadequate little man …

When Cyle Jones was taken away, someone in the public gallery shouted “keep your head up love”, he was previously jailed in June 2019 for 18 weeks after admitting unnecessary cruelty to animals, relating to two dogs who were injured.

Sentencing: Latcham was jailed for 26 weeks, Jones and Rush for 22 weeks. Thomas Young was sentenced to 20 weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months and will be subject to a curfew. Young and Jones are already banned from keeping dogs for life and Latcham has an indefinite ban following a 2011 cruelty conviction.

South Wales Argus
BBC News
BBC report: the story behind the badger baiters’ convictions

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Update 28/02/2020:

It was reported that Jamie Rush had successfully appealed against his conviction.

The RSPCA said it opposed the appeal, but said it was unable to continue due to issues related to the anonymity of a key witness.

BBC News

Ayr: Mark Cuthbert

#TheList Mark Cuthbert, born 07/03/1977, of 82 Thornyflat Place, Ayr KA8 0NE – set his dogs on wildlife including badgers; bought cats online to use as live bait for his dogs; failed to get vet treatment for his dogs’ fighting injuries

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland

Mark Cuthbert pleaded guilty to keeping dogs for the purpose of an animal fight and killing a cat at home and at another premises.

Cuthbert used the selling website Gumtree to purchase the cats – with many owners believing their animals were going to a safe home.

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland

The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit (SIU) received intelligence in March 2018 that Cuthbert had dogs for animal fighting. The SIU obtained a warrant to search Cuthbert’s address and, upon inspection, found his pets had injuries consistent with animal fighting.

They also suspected he had been self-medicating his dogs to avoid drawing attention to his illegal activities.

Investigators seized an electronic device that contained video and images of animal fights. The clips included Cuthbert’s dogs killing badgers and domestic cats.

Objects in the footage matched animal fighting paraphernalia discovered at his home. Among the items seized were tracking collars, nets, live animal traps, syringes, superglue, and pet carriers.

DNA analysis of these supported the case that many of the items were used for animal fighting.

The dogs involved in the case were black and white Patterdale terrier, Billy, and two brown female Patterdale terriers known as Digger and Tally.

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland pictured outside court
Coward: Mark Cuthbert pictured outside court

Cuthbert pleaded guilty to keeping dogs, cats and a rat for an animal fight contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 under Section 23 (1) (a), for procuring cats for the purpose of animal fighting and arranging, participating and causing animal fights to take place under Section 23 (2) of the Act.

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland

Commenting on the investigation and court case, a Scottish SPCA undercover special investigation unit (SIU) officer said, “This is a truly horrific case of animal cruelty, where we suspect dozens of animals have suffered mentally and physically at the hands of Mark Cuthbert. His inhumane treatment of animals is completely unacceptable.”

“We investigate reports of animal fights every week and the imagery and videos we discovered on his phone are some of the most depraved and upsetting we have seen. One harrowing video shows the three dogs attacking a domestic cat in a field which is fighting for its life. It’s clear the cat was caused horrendous suffering and many of the cats he purchased will have suffered long, torturous deaths.

“Cuthbert had been picking up the cats for his dogs to attack from the online selling site, Gumtree.

“After contacting Gumtree, we found correspondence between Cuthbert and people who had listed their cats on the site which led us to believe large numbers of cats were uplifted from pet owners who trusted their cats were going to a good, safe home.

“As well as the cats he purchased under false pretence, his own dogs have been treated appallingly. When we visited Cuthbert, two of his dogs had very obvious facial injuries and scars to the face, nose and jaw. Digger had a healed injury to the lower lip which had caused a v-shaped deformity and Billy was very aggressive when approached.

“If you are using an online service to find a new home for, or sell, your pet, please be vigilant and ensure your pet is going to a safe environment. If you are suspicious, do not continue with the sale and notify the Scottish SPCA as soon as possible.”

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. All information shared with the Scottish SPCA can be treated with confidentiality and can be reported to the animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

Sentencing: ten months’ imprisonment. Ten-year ban on owning or keeping any animal.

Scottish SPCA News
STV News
Scottish Sun

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Additional information: Mark Cuthbert’s long-term live-in partner is Wendy McIlloney, born 28/02/1970. They have two older children together and she has others from previous relationships.

Wendy McIlloney
Mofher and grandmother Wendy McIlloney lives with convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert.

McIlloney makes no secret of the fact that she also enjoys hunting and neighbours have said that she accompanies Cuthbert on hunting/digging trips with their dogs.

Disturbingly, it is alleged that she procured cats on her boyfriend’s behalf. As yet, no charges have been levelled against McIIloney.

The pair are also backyard breeders of Staffies and lurcher-type dogs.