#TheList Richard Alan Atkins, born 12/06/1967, of 178 Oversetts Road, Newhall, Swadlincote DE11 0SW – bred dogs to hunt and kill foxes and badgers
Richard Atkins was jailed after he bred dogs to hunt down and kill foxes and badgers so he could film it for a sick thrill.
Atkins was sentenced to 24 weeks behind bars after a photo showed him smiling with glee as he held a still live fox by the throat.
The father admitted nine charges including causing animals to fight, keeping dogs for the purpose of animal fighting, causing unnecessary suffering and animal welfare offences. when he appeared at Burton upon Trent magistrates on 29 June 2012
Atkins also received a lifetime ban on keeping all animals and the forfeiture of all his dogs and equipment used for baiting and hunting.
Atkins trained his terriers to hunt down and attack wild animals. He then filmed the sickening attacks on a digital video camera which he showed to his equally twisted associates.
The RSPCA were able to successfully bring the prosecution to court when forensic examination of badger baiting footage seized from a digital video camera proved a voice heard in the background was that of Atkins.
The court saw graphic footage of Atkins’s black Patterdale terrier, later named as Pudding (pictured above) and bull lurcher-type dogs carrying out attacks on two badgers and a fox in separate incidents.
In another clip a badger is seen having its leg torn off, while men – including Atkins – can be heard laughing in the background.
As well as the harrowing clips which showed the wild animals being attacked, the dogs used by Atkins also suffered sickening injuries during the fights.
The defendant admitted that he would attempt to treat his dogs’ injuries at home, rather than take them to a vet and raise suspicion.
Both the Patterdale terrier and bull lurcher seen in the footage were found at Atkins’ home when a warrant was carried out by police and the RSPCA.
The Patterdale terrier had suffered huge injuries to her jaw and she was partially blind in one eye. Four other dogs – also believed to have been bred for fighting and hunting – were seized during the warrant, along with paraphernalia, digging equipment and search lights.
Atkins had a similar conviction from 1999 when he was found guilty of digging for a badger in 1999 alongside Lee Robert Burton of Tower Road, Hartshorne.
Three dogs were found on the site and they all had scratches on their faces. A dead badger was found at the scene and the body was still warm. When they were taken back to their house there was a concrete badger on the front garden which all three dogs immediately attacked.
Both men were sentenced to two months in prison.
Magistrates ordered all equipment recovered by police to be destroyed and disqualified both men from owning a dog for three years.
The three dogs were found new homes.
Sentencing (2012): jailed for 24 weeks and banned from keeping all animals for life.