#TheList Anthony Alastair Lee, born 24/03/1989, formerly of Coronation Way, Keighley and as of late 2019 of 26 Ethel Street, Keighley BD20 6AN – urged his dog to attack and kill badgers and kept footage of the fights on his phone
Lee, who goes by the nickname ‘Antwon, admitted taking part in an animal fight on May 5, 2010, and causing his dog to fight a badger on June 30 and December 30, 2010.
Bradford and Keighley Magistrates were so horrified by snippets of video found on Lee’s phone that they jailed him for 23 weeks and imposed a lifetime ban on keeping animals on him.
The RSPCA said the case was “as bad as one can get” and described Lee’s actions as “twisted and sick”.
In the first video played to the court, a badger could be heard squealing alongside the sound of laughter from Lee and another person.
The second video showed a badger being killed after being shaken around in Lee’s dog’s mouth while another dog had hold of it.
The third video showed a dog fighting a badger in its sett.
Badgers suffer an “extreme amount of pain” as a result of badger baiting and the dogs involved also suffer injuries, prosecutor Nigel Monaghan told the court.
He added: “In terms of animal cruelty the RSPCA regard this case as bad in terms of suffering and cruelty as one can get.”
Chairman of the bench Robert Thornton said: “This is the most serious case we can think of.”
Badger baiters draw no financial benefit from their actions, RSPCA investigator Carroll Lamport said after the hearing.
He said: “It is just for their own twisted and sick kicks and there is a really high level of cruelty.”
Sentencing: 23 weeks in jail (three-week discount on the maximum sentence because he pleaded guilty. Banned from keeping or looking after animals for the rest of his life with no right of appeal for 50 years. Lee appealed the latter and will now be allowed to ask for the lifetime ban to be reviewed after just 10 years, i.e. 2022.
Update March 2013: Lee was jailed for 18 months for attacking an RAF serviceman with an iron bar to his severe injury.
Update July 2020: Lee is now presenting himself as a wildlife photographer of all things. His FB page, Yorkshire Image Photography, is here.