Category Archives: foxes

Ashbrooke, Sunderland: Daniel Churchill

#TheList Daniel Churchill, born c. 1994, of Riversdale Terrace, Sunderland SR2 – forced his lurcher, Drift, to attack wild animals and then failed to treat the dog’s painful injuries.

Convicted animal abuser Daniel Churchill from Sunderland and his victim, Drift. Churchill used his dog to hunt wild animals.
Daniel Churchill from Sunderland used lurcher Drift to hunt wild animals and failed to treat the dog’s injuries sustained in fights.

Gypsy traveller Churchill was facing a potential jail sentence for causing unnecessary suffering to a lurcher known as Drift after failing to treat injuries the dog sustained in forced fights with wild animals.

Convicted animal abuser Daniel Churchill from Sunderland. Churchill used his dog to hunt wild animals.
Daniel Churchill pictured outside court.

The offences came to light after Drift was found wandering the streets in November 2018 and was taken to a vet.

He had cuts on his face, neck, legs and body, and his injuries were consistent with a fight with another animal, such as a fox.

Convicted animal abuser Daniel Churchill from Sunderland. Churchill used his dog to hunt wild animals.

Churchill pleaded guilty to two offences at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

RSPCA prosecutor Stewart Haywood said Churchill rang the vet to claim ownership of the dog but was told Drift had been seized by police and an investigation had been launched.

He claimed Drift had escaped from his kennel the night before he was found in the streets.

Convicted animal abuser Daniel Churchill from Sunderland forced his lurcher-type dog Drift to attack wild animals and then failed to treat his injuries.

Mr Haywood said a vet examined the pet and found scratch wounds to the shoulder, legs and face. Some scratches were three to four days old, while other injuries were up to 48 hours old.

He added: “Some were consistent with injuries you would expect to see on animals that had a fight with another animal, such as a fox.”

Convicted animal abuser Daniel Churchill from Sunderland. Churchill used his dog to hunt wild animals.

During the investigation, it was found the defendant’s Facebook account had references and pictures glorifying the hunting of animals with dogs. One photo was of a dog chasing a fox, another of a dog with a fox biting it and one image showed a dead fox.

My Haywood said: “The defendant was clearly glorifying the hunting of animals with dogs on there.

“This is a case where there’s clearly high culpability. The defendant is clearly deliberately causing suffering to his dog by using him in the hunting of animals.

“The injuries were consistent with it being attacked by another animal.”

The court was told that Drift had now been rehomed.

Tom Morgan, defending Churchill, said: “The pictures from the Facebook account – the defendant says they were in fact from a disused Facebook account.

“He did not and does not accept that those pictures depict the animal in this case.

“The defendant’s only concern throughout these proceedings, whether you can believe this or not, has been the animal.

“He has made efforts to try and retrieve the dog. He accepts by way of guilty plea that he has not been caring for the animal as he should be. He has to accept he will not get that animal back.”

Mr Morgan further said his client was “capable of being rehabilitated”.

“I do believe that he has learnt his lesson”, he added.

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years; completion of a rehabilitation programme. Costs of £500. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

ChronicleLive

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.

====
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.

South Herefordshire Hunt: Paul Oliver, Hannah Rose, Paul Reece and Julie Elmore

#TheList Paul Oliver, born c. 1978, and Hannah Rose, born c. 1988, both of Sutton Crosses, Long Sutton, Spalding PE12, Paul Reece, born c. 1970, of Grove View, Usk Road, Chepstow NP16 6SA and Julie Elmore, born c. 1963, of 6 Brynarw Estate, Abergavenny NP7 7ND – convicted of animal cruelty after fox cubs were fed to hounds

Fox cub killers Paul Oliver, Hannah Rose, Paul Reece and Julie Elmore - all involved with now defunct South Herefordshire Hunt
Fox cub killers Paul Oliver, Paul Reece, Hannah Rose and Julie Elmore

Footage obtained by a group called the Hunt Investigation Team (HIT) was instrumental in the successful prosecution of Paul Oliver, master of hounds with the now disbanded South Herefordshire Hunt.

South Herefordshire Hunt cruelty case. Fox cub killer Paul Oliver, former huntsman with the now defunct hunt.
Disgraced Master and Huntsman of the now defunct South Herefordshire Hunt, Paul Oliver

Oliver was convicted of four counts of animal cruelty for allowing his hounds to kill four fox cubs and was handed a 16-week suspended jail sentence for causing their “painful, terrifying” deaths.

District Judge Joanna Dickens, sitting at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, also imposed a 12-week suspended sentence on Oliver’s partner, Hannah Rose, the hunt’s kennel maid.

South Herefordshire Hunt kennel maid Hannah Rose pictured outside court
South Herefordshire Hunt kennel maid Hannah Rose pictured outside court

The pair were ordered to pay £300 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge after being convicted of causing unnecessary suffering.

South Herefordshire Hunt cruelty case. Hannah Rose and Paul Oliver pictured outside court.
Hannah Rose and Paul Oliver pictured outside court.

HIT, a relatively new group whose members include ex-services personnel, received training in covert investigative methods.

They fixed a device to Oliver’s Land Rover following a tip-off and tracked him to a site where they suspected he was catching fox cubs in May 2016.

They also set up cameras at the hunt’s kennels and obtained footage they said proved Oliver was catching cubs and taking them back to his hounds to “blood” them.

South Herefordshire Hunt cruelty case. Paul Oliver was filmed taking live fox cubs  from a crate into a kennel block. A short time later he was captured disposing of the cubs' mutilated bodies.
Paul Oliver was filmed taking live fox cubs from a crate into a kennel block at the South Herefordshire Hunt. A short time later he was captured disposing of the cubs’ mutilated bodies.
South Herefordshire Hunt cruelty case. Paul Oliver's girlfriend Hannah Rose looks on as he  handles the fox cubs.  Photo credit: Hunt Investigation Team.
Paul Oliver’s girlfriend Hannah Rose looks on as he handles the fox cubs. Photo credit: Hunt Investigation Team.

The court heard that one camera recorded Oliver dumping the bodies of two cubs in a wheelie bin.

The activists are said to have taken legal advice from lawyers and animal welfare organisations who told them they could not recover the cubs as this would amount to theft.

They said they did not pass the case to the police because they did not believe officers would have the resources to follow it up.

HIT members, who are involved in several ongoing investigations, are so worried about reprisals that one was allowed to give evidence during the seven-day trial from behind a screen.

Fox cub killers Julie Elmore and Paul Reece
Terrierman Paul Reece was filmed delivering a fox cub to the crate. Nathan Parry, who unbelievably was acquitted, was also present along with his girlfriend Julie Elmore (pictured)

Julie Elmore and Paul Reece admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to cubs which were distressed by being transported to the kennels.

Elmore and Reece were given conditional discharges and ordered to pay costs of £50 after the judge said both had been “motivated by consideration” for two fox cubs.

A fifth defendant, Nathan Parry, born c. 1978, also of Brynarw estate, was cleared of all charges.

Acquitted of any involvement in live fox cubs being fed to hounds: Nathan Parry
Unbelievably Nathan Parry was acquitted with judges believing his implausible account

Parry took foxes to kennels but was found not guilty after the judge accepted he believed they would be relocated in the wild.

Martin Sims, director of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports and former head of the police’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, said: “We believe the incidents show that hunts are clearly still hunting as the poor fox cubs were thrown into the kennels to give the hounds a taste for blood.

“The barbarity of these incidents is sickening and will horrify the vast majority of the British public who are overwhelmingly opposed to fox hunting.”

Deborah Marshall, HIT spokeswoman, said: “This case has taken far too long to come to court and we have faced false allegations against investigators and obstruction throughout. We are glad that justice has finally taken its course.

“The capture of fox cubs to be used to train hounds is nothing new and is widespread across Britain, as is the mass destruction of healthy hounds to make way for younger ones. We will continue to expose cruelty and wildlife crime.”

The Masters of Foxhounds Association suspended the South Herefordshire Hunt after the footage emerged and it has since disbanded.

A spokesperson for the association said Oliver’s actions were “completely disgraceful” and had no place in hunting.

Telegraph

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

Southwick, Sunderland: Arron Crighton

#TheList poacher Arron Crighton, born c. 1997, of Kismet Street, Sunderland SR5 2LG – made shocking videos of his dogs brutally killing foxes; posted graphic photos and videos online showing horrific injuries suffered by both dogs and foxes

Arron Crighton from Sunderland set his whippet on wild foxes 'for sport'
Arron Crighton from Sunderland set his whippet on wild foxes ‘for sport’ and bragged on social media about it

Arron Crighton admitted offences under the 2001 Animal Welfare Act and 2004 Hunting Act after using his black whippet, Jet, to attack and kill foxes.

Whippet Jet suffered a catalogue of painful injuries after being forced to fight foxes by his sadistic owner Arron Crighton
Whippet Jet suffered a catalogue of painful injuries after being forced to fight foxes by his sadistic owner Arron Crighton

Police were alerted to a number of videos made by Crighton, which included footage of a dog fighting with a fox and a person appearing to hold the fox down with their foot.

Police mugshot of animal abuser Arron Crighton from Sunderland

A second video showed two dogs with their jaws locked around the fox’s neck and body, while a picture was also taken showing Crighton and others holding a dog which had a bloodied fox in his mouth.

After being made aware of the social media posts, police executed a warrant at an address on Kismet Street, Sunderland, and seized a mobile phone belonging to Crighton.

Arron Crighton from Sunderland set his whippet on wild foxes 'for sport'
Arron Crighton

Investigators discovered hundreds of shocking photos and videos showing the attacks and subsequent injuries of the animals saved on the phone.

Asked why he’d initiated the illegal activity in interview, Crighton responded “for sport”. He also claimed that if one dog was injured by the fox, he would “put another dog on”.

PC Peter Baker, of Northumbria Police, said: “The photographs and videos that Arron Crighton made are incredibly distressing and showed a total disregard for the welfare of these animals.

“Crighton took a great deal of satisfaction out of filming this barbaric and criminal activity and then posted the trophy pictures online.

“It is blatantly clear that he cannot be trusted to own an animal and ensure it is adequately protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease. On this occasion, both Crighton’s own dog and the foxes suffered horrific injuries.

“This investigation was launched following information provided to police by a member of the public who saw the videos online and were rightly disgusted by them. I would urge anyone who sees poaching offences and cruelty of this type online to get in touch.

“This case should act as a reminder to all pet owners that anybody who fails to ensure an animal’s welfare is met could face criminal action. We would always ask anybody who witnesses cruelty or an animal in distress to contact the RSPCA direct or call 101.”

Jet– who was frightened but gentle in nature when officers located him– has been rehomed.

Sentencing: Jailed for 18 weeks. Banned from owning any animal for 10 years.

Sunderland Echo

Carnforth, Lancashire: Joe Whittam

#TheList Joe Whittam, born 07/06/1990, of Langdale Road, Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9AU – set his dogs on a pet cat and fox; failed to provide vet treatment for his injured dogs

Two photos of convicted animal abuser Joe Whittam from Carnforth, Lancashire.
Joe Whittam from Carnforth was jailed after filming “blood-curdling” videos of his dogs killing a cat and fox

Joseph Whittam, who also uses the surname Riding, pleaded guilty to four offences under the Animal Welfare Act in relation to encouraging his two dogs to attack a cat and a fox, as well as failing to provide veterinary attention for the dogs themselves.

The RSPCA joined Lancashire Constabulary to execute a warrant at Whittam’s address in August 2017 after intelligence that suggested he was involved in wildlife crimes with his two dogs.

The dogs – a terrier called Rex and a lurcher called Zip – were removed by police and placed into the RSPCA’s care. A mobile phone was also seized and investigators discovered a number of shocking videos saved on the phone.

RSPCA special investigation officer Jason Bowles said: “In one video, the two dogs are going crazy, barking and snapping at the mesh of a trap with a black and white domestic cat inside.

“In a second video, the cat is released along with the dogs and the dogs grab the cat and literally start to rip it apart while the cat screams and cries in pain. It is horrific and absolutely blood-curdling. Many of our staff here at the RSPCA haven’t been able to stomach watching it.

“One of the magistrates had to leave court after watching the sickening footage.

“The cat was killed although we never found the body and never traced the poor cat’s owners.”

He added: “In another video, the dogs can be seen attacking and biting a fox. In all the footage Whittam can clearly be heard encouraging the dogs and egging them on.”

Rex and Zip both had old injuries – thought to be caused by their attacks – which had not been treated. They received veterinary care and remain in the RSPCA’s care. They will be rehomed once the case has concluded.

Further analysis of Whittam’s phone uncovered images of a dog being encouraged to attack a gerbil and still images of the fox attack which show the animal being baited by the dog.

Whittam claimed the fox had been shot and injured before his dogs got hold of it.

Lancashire Constabulary’s Sgt James Pinder said: “This investigation began as a result of community information in relation to animal welfare and poaching offences.

“I hope the investigation clearly demonstrates that we will work with our partner agencies and will deal with offenders in a robust manner.

“The sentence, which marks the end of a 16-month investigation, is welcomed by Lancashire Constabulary and we hope it will send a clear message to those who think it is acceptable to partake in these criminal activities.”

Sentencing Whittam at Preston Magistrates’ Court, the chairman of the bench said the offences were sustained, deliberate and gratuitous

Sentencing:
Jailed for 22 weeks; ordered to pay a total of £490. Disqualified from keeping animals for life. 

Westmorland Gazette

Meir, Stoke-on-Trent: Natalie Keenan and David Knight

#TheList Natalie Keenan, born c. 1989, and David Knight, born c. 1977, both of Sandon Old Road, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 – kept 23 pets – including a barn owl, a fox and a raccoon dog – inside a smelly and flea-ridden house of horrors

David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors

David Knight pleaded guilty to five charges related to animal cruelty, while Natalie Keenan admitted four offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

The pair’s mini-zoo was discovered by chance when a utility company official went round to the Meir home to execute a warrant as they hadn’t paid their gas bill.

He alerted the RSPCA, who were confronted by the stench of neglect, with piles of dog poo in the kitchen, rotting chickens in a snake tank and animals covered in fleas.

David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors

Other creatures – from pets to exotics to wild animals – were being kept in tiny filthy cages, with barely enough room to move and without ready access to water.

A raccoon dog kept in a foul cage by Natalie Keenan and David Knight from Meir, Stoke

One terrier-type dog, called Lexi, was in such a poor condition that she had to be put to sleep.

Hazel Stevens, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Lexi was experiencing ‘significant suffering’. She was virtually blind, emaciated with protruding bones, had little fur and an infected tumour that was hidden underneath a ‘foul-smelling mess’.

The dog was found curled up on a pile of dirty nappies and had to be carried out of the house as she couldn’t walk.

The couple also had:

  • another dog, Mocha the French bulldog
  • a cat called Gizzy, who both had skin and flea problems;
  • a barn owl caged up in a bedroom
  • a fox living in a cage in another room;
  • a racoon dog
  • a rat
  • a bearded dragon
  • five snakes
  • eight degus;
  • and an African grey parrot called Charlie.

David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors
Lexi was in such poor condition she had to be put to sleep

RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “When I arrived at the property the couple wouldn’t let me inside so I waited outside for over two hours until police arrived.

“During that time the family carried bin bag after bin bag of rubbish out of the house.

“When I finally went inside it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Even though they’d been clearing out for two hours it was still absolutely filthy and the animals were being kept in horrifying conditions.

“There was cage after cage and animal after animal. The rooms were strewn with rubbish, all of the animals’ accommodation was filthy and their welfare needs were clearly not being met.

“It was disgusting and it was mass-scale neglect.”

The other animals remain in RSPCA care and can now be rehomed or moved to suitable keepers.

“Many of these animals simply shouldn’t be kept as pets let alone kept like this,” Inspector Melvin added.

“To see these poor animals living in such squalor was heartbreaking. I’m just glad they can all now have a second chance at find loving new homes where their needs will be properly catered to.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order including a 30-hour rehabilitation requirement. Total of £235 each in costs and charges.  Both were disqualified from keeping animals for three years.

Stoke Sentinel
Signal1

Peterborough: George R Adams

#TheList huntsman George R Adams, born c. 1951, of 2 Ramshill Cottages, Stamford Road, Peterborough PE6 7EZ – used a pack of hounds to kill a fox

Fitzwilliam huntsman George Adams was convicted of breaching the  Hunting Act after hounds killed a fox.
Fitzwilliam huntsman George Adams was convicted of breaching the Hunting Act after hounds killed a fox.

Adams, a huntsman with the Fitzwilliam Hunt, was in charge of the pack of hounds when it killed a fox on January 1, 2016.

John Mease was cleared of all charges.

Falconer John Mease was found not guilty of the charge and also not guilty of causing unnecessary cruelty to an animal relating to hunting of a fox in 2013

The court heard that the hunt started in Wansford, Cambridgeshire and that the fox was eventually killed near Elton by the pack of hounds.

Adams’ co-defendant John Mease, of 3 Kennels Cottages, Milton Park, Peterborough PE6 7AB, who was present at the hunt with a golden eagle, was found not guilty after a court heard he used the bird of prey to catch animals, rather than a pack of dogs.

Mease was further cleared of causing unnecessary cruelty to an animal despite ‘dispatching’ another fox by driving a KNIFE through its eye after it was caught by his raptor in 2013.

The court heard from saboteurs Ruth Nichols and Stephen Milton, who had tracked the hunt.

Video footage shown to the court taken by Mr Milton, which involved around 40 hounds – with the sound of a hunting horn clearly heard.

Mr Milton said he had seen the hunt tracking the fox, and had not heard any calls to ward the dogs off from the fox.

George Adams with the kill
George Adams with the kill.

Adams, who joined the Fitzwilliam Hunt in 1981 and became a huntsman in 1984, told the court he had not seen the fox before it was killed.

When asked if it was his intention to kill the fox with hounds, he said: ‘Absolutely not. We wanted to flush it out for the bird of prey.’

Mr Mease told the court there was no chance for him to release his golden eagle to catch the fox because the saboteurs were in the field, which would provide a risk to the bird.

He was asked why he never radioed Adams to call the hunt off.

He said: ‘A hunt is a fluid thing. It was changing minute by minute. It was the heat of the moment and it was the first time I had come across saboteurs in my 11 years.’

He told the court he was in charge of the bird but had no control over the pack of hounds, which was Adams’ responsibility.

Speaking after the trial, Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson Lee Moon said: ‘To anyone who witnessed the events on the day in question it was abundantly clear that a wild mammal was hunted and killed illegally, in a most gruesome manner.

‘Although a fox had to suffer and die due to the blatant and remorseless actions of the defendants we are pleased that hunt saboteurs were able to bring at least one of them to justice.

‘We would like to thank Cambridgeshire police who conducted a robust and unbiased investigation.

‘The loopholes and exemptions in the current act have always been cynically exploited by hunts in order to operate much as they would have done prior to the ban.

‘The guilty verdict proves that hunting with a full pack of hounds is not the same as Falconry and the judge in summing up confirmed as much.

‘The outcome will of course have wider reaching implications for all those hunts around the country who claim to use this exemption.

‘We will continue to vigorously oppose those who gain enjoyment from the torture and killing of our wildlife and will use all the tools at our disposal to those ends.

‘We have the overwhelming support of the general public who wish to see an end to the barbaric minority pastime.’

Sentencing: fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £950 costs.

Daily Mail

North Wales badger baiters: David Thomas, Marc Wynn Morris, Jordan Houlston

#TheList badger baiting gang members David Thomas, born 21/03/1966, of Cwm Bowydd Farm, Blaenau Ffestiniog LL41 3EL, Marc Wynn Morris, born 19/05/1991, of Jones Street, Blaenau Ffestiniog LL41 3YF, Jordan Alexander Houlston, born 04/08/1993, of Alexandra Road, Llandudno LL30 2DQ and an unnamed 17-year-old

Convicted badger baiters and dog abusers David Thomas and Jordan Houlston
Convicted badger baiters and dog abusers David Thomas and Jordan Houlston

The four men were convicted following an RSPCA probe into badger baiting and animal fighting at Cwm Bowydd Farm, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, North Wales LL41 3EL.

The undercover investigation into the activities of Houlston and co, which was led by Ian Briggs of the RSPCA’s special operations unit, featured in a May 2018 documentary produced by BBC Wales entitled ‘The Secret World of Badger Baiting’.

The programme also uncovered a scene of horror at Cwm Bowydd farm, which is co-owned by David Thomas, sole master of the Dwyrd hunt .

Animal cruelty on a massive scale was taking place at the farm with dozens of neglected dogs found locked away in brick enclosures with no natural light.

Dogs discovered living in damp, cold and dirty conditions at the farm co-owned by David Thomas
Dogs discovered living in damp, cold and dirty conditions at the farm co-owned by David Thomas
Dogs discovered living in damp, cold and dirty conditions at the farm co-owned by David Thomas
Several dogs were kept in appalling conditions at the farm
Dogs discovered living in damp, cold and dirty conditions at the farm co-owned by David Thomas
Dogs discovered living in damp, cold and dirty conditions at the farm co-owned by David Thomas
Dogs discovered living in damp, cold and dirty conditions at the farm co-owned by David Thomas
Dogs discovered living in damp, cold and dirty conditions at the farm co-owned by David Thomas

Two foxes were found in a cage which had been placed close to a barn in which fox hounds were being kept.

The RSPCA discovered this caged fox at the farm
At the farm the RSPCA discovered two foxes in a cage placed near to a barn containing fox hounds
The foxes were trapped in a cage which was placed next to kennels containing hunting hounds
The terrified foxes were trapped in a cage which was placed next to kennels containing hunting hounds

A search of Jordan Houlston’s flat found several dogs in external and others living in tiny enclosures inside including in the property’s bathroom.

Investigators discovered animal medication at the flat and a number of books on hunting with dogs and badger baiting.

A total of 31 dogs were taken from Houlston’s flat and the farm to be examined by a vet.

One rescued Patterdale terrier had fresh injuries to her nose, damage to her jaw and a peeling wound on her chin.

The court heard how artificial badger setts were found at the farm along with seven skulls, possibly those of foxes or badgers.

The RSPCA said this fake sett was used to hold a badger
The RSPCA said this fake sett was used to hold a badger

Pipes were used to hold captive animals and dogs were brought to a copse and forced to fight with them.

Video footage showed badger baiting, which has been illegal since 1835.

A badger had been brought to the area in advance and arrangements made for dogs to chase and injure the animal.

The presiding judge Gwyn Jones said: “Fortunately, we didn’t see how the badger was ultimately killed, but it’s quite clear the death would have been slow and no doubt extremely painful.

“That activity would also have had an adverse impact on the dogs.

“This was a deliberate and planned venture to cause suffering to an animal,”

“Mr Thomas and Mr Houlston played a leading role.”

Thomas was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a badger by causing it to fight with dogs.

One of the two terrified foxes saved from a cruel death at David Thomas’s farm

He was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two foxes by keeping them caged close to dogs, causing the foxes to be terrified, and other animal welfare allegations.

Jordan Houlston was convicted  of ill-treating a badger, and unnecessary suffering by causing a badger to fight with dogs at Cwm Bowydd Farm in February 2017.

Jordan Houston is approved by the Master of Foxhounds Association

He was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs and failing to meet the welfare needs of seven dogs.

Dogs rescued from the farm and Houlston's flat
Dogs rescued from the farm and Houlston’s flat
Dog rescued from Jordan Houlston's flat
Dog rescued from Jordan Houlston's flat

Morris pleaded guilty to wilfully injuring a badger, being present at an animal fight and causing unnecessary suffering to a badger by causing it to fight with a dog.

Sentencing:
David Thomas –  imprisoned for 22 weeks, and placed under close supervision for a 12-month period; costs of £5,000. Disqualified from keeping dogs for eight years.

 Houlston – imprisoned for 20 weeks, and also placed under close supervision for a 12-month period; total of £750 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping dogs for eight years.

Morris – 10-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months; 150 hours of unpaid work; total of £650 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping dogs for four years.

The unnamed 17-year-old who had pleaded guilty to being present at an animal fight was ordered to pay a total of £220 in costs and banned from keeping dogs for four years. 

Daily Post
BBC News

Redruth/Truro, Cornwall: Jack Crocker and Robbie Long

#TheList Jack Crocker, born c. 1976, of High View Farm, Creegbrawse, Truro TR4 8NE Chacewater, Cornwall, and Robbie Long, born c. 1996, of Lower Tolgullow Vean Farm, Little Beside, Redruth TR16 5PX – laughed as they set dogs on a young fox

Sadistic animal killers Robbie Long and Jack Crocker from Cornwall
Sadistic animal killers Robbie Long and Jack Crocker

Crocker and Long were given suspended sentences after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

The RSPCA conducted an investigation after video footage was posted on Facebook which depicted dogs being set upon a fox.

Crocker also admitted using a bow to kill a wild animal at an earlier hearing.

The video footage showed the two men in a barn with dogs, Lady and Princess, who can be seen attacking the fox as laughter is heard in the background.

RSPCA chief inspector Ian Briggs said: “The footage clearly shows these two men watching as the fox was subjected to what would have been a painful and drawn out death.

“Far from deal with the situation responsibly and humanely, instead they filmed the incident and could be heard laughing as the fox was being attacked.

“We hope this case being brought before the court will encourage others to report any concerns they have about animal welfare to report them to the police or RSPCA.”

Crocker had previously pleaded guilty to shooting a wild rabbit with a bow. This also only came to light when the RSPCA became aware of a photo on Facebook.

Sentencing:

Both Crocker and Long were sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for a year, and fined £425 and ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

Crocker was also given an additional two-week suspended prison sentence to run consecutively for using a crossbow to kill an animal.

Neither of the two men were banned from keeping animals but voluntarily signed over both Lady and Princess into the care of the RSPCA.

Falmouth Packet
BBC News