Tag Archives: bloodsports

Frimley, Surrey: Samuel Haylett

#TheList Samuel Haylett, born 30/09/1989, of Barnes Road, Frimley, Camberley GU16 – for hare coursing

Samuel Haylett, who  was caught hare coursing on private land in Essex
Samuel Haylett, who was caught hare coursing on private land in Essex

Sam Haylett was made subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) for hare coursing after Essex Police responded to reports near Blind Lane, West Hanningfield, south Essex.

Haylett admitted trespass in pursuit of game.

The CBO prohibits him from being in possession of a catapult, shot or an air weapon in a public place, bans him from being in the possession, control and company of any dog within Essex unless travelling to a pre-arranged emergency vet’s appointment, stops him from having a dog off a lead unless on private land or with the land owner’s consent and bans him from associating with three men in a public place.

At around 2pm on Sunday 13 October 2019, Essex Police received reports about hare coursing off Blind Lane.

An off-duty police officer was in the area and spotted Haylett, who was in possession of dogs who were in pursuit of a hare. This lasted around 30 seconds.

She then told Haylett to stop and put herself on duty before other officers arrived and arrested him.

The police took photographs of Haylett covered in mud before they seized a car, mobile phones, catapults and stones.

Haylett was interviewed under caution before being reported for the offence.

Chief Inspector Terry Balding, head of Rural Engagement Team, said: “The quick-actions by members of the community and an off-duty officer, who has an extensive knowledge of wildlife and countryside pursuits, has resulted in a man receiving a conviction for hare coursing.

“The order, which is the first we have ever secured for hare coursing, will restrict his activities, his movements and his associates and will help protect rural communities countrywide.

“Hare coursing isn’t just an illegal and cruel activity, it causes disruption and damage to private land and crops, it can have a financial impact on businesses and it endangers the safety of people living and working in the area.

“We remain dedicated, along with our policing colleagues, in the combat of hare coursing and we will continue to track down and deal with offenders such as Haylett.”

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Tackling rural crime is an important priority in my Police and Crime Plan and it is great to see the Essex Police Rural Engagement Team taking such a proactive approach to protecting our rural communities.

“Hare coursing is a dangerous and frightening crime committed in isolated areas of our county.

“It can make our rural communities feel vulnerable in their own homes and this is totally unacceptable.

“Securing this order sends a clear message that rural crime is not acceptable, it will be tackled and those committing offences will be caught.”

Sentencing: in addition to the Criminal Behaviour Order, Haylett was ordered to pay a total of £569 in fines, costs and charges.

Essex Police news

Sandyford, Stoke-on-Trent: Jason Price

#TheList traveller Jason Price, born c. 1997, of Burnaby Road, Stoke on Trent ST6 – shot and killed eight pheasants with an air rifle on private land

Poacher Jason Price, a traveller from Sandyford. Stoke on Trent

Jason Price, a traveller whose previous convictions include sexual activity with a child, has apologised to the owners of the Whitmore Shooting Estate – after shooting and stealing his pheasants.

The owner was alerted to the crime after hearing gunshots and then spotting Price loading something into the back of his van.

North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard police later found the 22-year-old with eight dead pheasants in his vehicle.

Poacher Jason Price, a traveller from Sandyford. Stoke on Trent, poses with the pheasants he shot and killed

Prosecutor Sue Hayers said: “The injured party was at home at 9pm on January 14 when he heard what he thought sounded like silenced rifle shots. He saw a light shine in the trees and formed the opinion someone was outside.

“He saw a van parked up the road and saw someone throw something into the rear of the van. The person was holding a rifle. The vehicle pulled away.

“Police later located the van and the defendant. They recovered an air rifle, pellets and eight pheasants from the vehicle.”

When he was arrested, Price claimed he did not know the Whitmore land was private and said he intended to eat the birds.

The court heard the landowner, the Cavanagh-Mainwairing family, rears pheasants to be used in licensed shoots held on the estate, and the theft left them £320 out of pocket.

Poacher Jason Price, a traveller from Sandyford. Stoke on Trent

Price pleaded guilty to theft and a charge of trespassing at night with an air rifle to destroy game.

The offences put him in breach of a conditional discharge he received for another theft, when he was collecting scrap metal and took property that the owner had not agreed he could have.

Mohammed Fiaz, mitigating, said: “He has written a letter of apology for his behaviour. The reason Mr Price took the pheasants was for his own consumption. He wasn’t going to sell them on. He purchased the rifle legitimately.

“He was working as a labourer but unfortunately he lost that job a couple of weeks ago.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £320 to the victim. He must also pay a £120 fine for breaching the conditional discharge.

Stoke Sentinel

Doncaster, South Yorkshire: Scott Hayes and Christopher Darwin

#TheList Scott Hayes, born 16/02/1989 of Blakewood Drive, Blaxton, Doncaster DN9 3GX and Christopher Darwin, born 15/10/1991 of Laycock Avenue, Gringley-on-the-Hill, Doncaster DN10 4SA – used lurcher dogs to hunt and kill a deer on Christmas Eve

Poachers Scott Hayes and Christopher Darwin from Doncaster

Scott Hayes and Chris Darwin were found guilty of poaching offences.

The pair were spotted by police coming off private land with lurcher dogs in the village of Haxey, North Lincolnshire, on December 24, 2019. The body of a freshly killed male Roe deer was discovered nearby and further investigations revealed its injuries were consistent with it being killed by dogs.

Chief Inspector Paul Butler said, “This court result should send out a very clear message to those who commit wildlife offences that we take these offences seriously and will seek other sanctions available to the courts.

“The obtaining of [Criminal Behaviour Orders] in this case provides other police forces with a straight forward tool to deal with these men if they choose to commit wildlife offences with the use of the type of dog involved. I would like to thank the Wildlife Crime Officers involved in bringing this case before the court, the CPS Prosecutors involved and also the court for taking such offences seriously”.

Scott Hayes
Vicious bloodthirsty predator Scott Hayes

Deer poaching is a problem in many areas across the UK. It can involve extreme cruelty to the deer targeted, especially when dogs are used to chase and drag them down. Many offenders operate across several counties, travelling long distances to target specific hdilocations.

Christopher Darwin
Chris Darwin

The use of lurcher type dogs features in most poaching offences committed during both the day and night.

Chief Inspector Butler added: “Poaching activity is a blight on the countryside and many of those involved are linked to other offending. Members of rural communities often feel vulnerable and intimidated by poachers who can be aggressive or offer violence if challenged.

“If you witness suspected poaching offences taking place, particularly where lurcher type dogs are being used please report it to the police via 999.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order of 300 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £350 court costs; made subject to a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) preventing them from entering the Humberside Police area.

Yorkshire Post

Poole, Dorset: Scott Cochrane

#TheList serial wildlife persecutor Scott Matthew Cochrane, born 09/11/1989, of 4 Yarrow Close, Poole BH12 4FL – found with dead rabbits, lurcher-type dogs and steel ball bearings

Repeat offender Cochrane was back in court after breaching a five-year criminal behaviour order imposed in September 2015 after a video of him pulling the head off a live wood pigeon was uploaded to Facebook. He admitted being in possession of a wild animal and for hunting a wild mammal with a dog, an offence under Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004.

Cochrane, whose Facebook account is riddled with boasts about his ‘kills’, is now prohibited from entering many rural areas in Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire. The areas include south of the A35 in the Purbeck and Dorchester area, rural northeast Dorset up to the M4 corridor in north Wiltshire and parts of the New Forest in Hampshire.

This will prevent him from using routes such as the A338 from Ringwood into Wiltshire, A354 from Puddletown to Salisbury and A350 from Wimborne to parts of Wiltshire, which all feature in hotspots for such rural crime.

At 11.41pm on Saturday October 5, 2019, officers were called to a rural location in the Blandford area in relation to suspected poaching in fields. They located a van and saw two men – one of whom was the defendant.

There were two lurcher-type dogs with them and they had a high powered lamp. They were also found to be carrying dead rabbits. A search of their vehicle located a catapult and steel ball bearings, as well as further dead rabbits.

The new criminal behaviour order will last for three years.

Cochrane must not:

• Act or incite others to behave in an anti-social manner, that is to say a manner that causes harassment, alarm or distress to any persons.

• Use or incite others to use threatening, intimidating, insulting or abusive words or behaviour in any place to which the public has access.

• Be in possession of a wild animal, wild bird or part of a wild animal or bird living or dead.

• Be in possession of a catapult or shot, such as ball bearings, or to be in a vehicle with a catapult or such shot in a place to which the public have access or private land as a trespasser.

• Allow a dog under his control off a lead, except on private land with the land owners written permission.

• Be in a vehicle with a dog traditionally used for the purpose of hare and deer coursing, such as a Lurcher, Greyhound, Saluki, or a cross breed of these varieties unless travelling to an emergency vets appointment.

• Own dogs traditionally used for the purposes of hare and deer coursing such as Lurchers, Greyhounds, Saluki or a cross breed of these varieties.

Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, Rural Crime Co-ordinator for Dorset Police, said: “Coursing with dogs and poaching is a national priority for both rural and wildlife crime and there are many repeat victims across the UK.

“This issue is not about ‘one for the pot’ but part of a network of persistent criminals who will threaten and intimidate our rural communities if challenged and cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to crops, gates and other property.

“They train their dogs on rabbits, hares and even on deer, with no regard for the welfare of wildlife or their dogs and they are willing to travel vast distances into other counties.

“Dorset Police is part of the national strategy between 22 police forces, Operation Galileo, where civil and criminal powers will be used to prevent such offending by hare coursers and protect vulnerable victims.

“I hope this sends a clear message that coursing and other such crimes are not tolerated and we will take robust action against anyone suspected of such an offence.

“This now varied order is a first of its kind for rural crime, in that it bans the defendant from large areas of rural land across three counties and it restricts his ownership of certain dog breeds and cross breeds.”

Sentencing: eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Victim surcharge of £122 and £85 costs. The other man was given a caution. Three-year criminal behaviour order.

Southern Daily Echo

Update 13/03/20: Dorset Police announced on their Facebook page that Cochrane has been jailed after breaching a criminal behaviour order that banned him from being in possession of a catapult.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison on Friday 6 March 2020 after admitting breaching a criminal behaviour order and a suspended sentence order.

On Wednesday 25 December 2019 Dorset Police was made aware of a live stream video that had been uploaded to social media that showed Cochrane sat in the passenger seat of a 4×4 vehicle in a rural location.

The video showed Cochrane pull out a catapult and pretend to fire it at the person who was filming. The occupants then stop the vehicle when they notice something in a field and the video stops moments later.

Cochrane was arrested on Friday 3 January 2020 and admitted that the video had been filmed on Christmas Day 2019 and confirmed it was him in the video. He did not disclose who else was in the video.

When he was sentenced on Friday 6 March 2020 the eight-week suspended term was activated and Cochrane was also sentenced to a further four weeks in prison for breaching the criminal behaviour order, resulting in a total sentence of 12 weeks in prison.

Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, Rural Crime Co-ordinator for Dorset Police, said: “Scott Cochrane showed a blatant disregard for court orders that were in place to protect wild animals as he had previously been sentenced for coursing offences.

“Coursing with dogs and poaching is a national priority for both rural and wildlife crime and there are many repeat victims across the UK.

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

Bridgwater, Somerset: Scott Ayres

#TheList Scott Ayres (also known as Scott Pope), born 09/06/1992, and partner Leanne Hodge, born 11/05/1995, both of Haygrove Park Road, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 7BT – failed to seek veterinary treatment for a dog’s wounds

Dog abuser Scott Ayres/Pope from Bridgwater, Somerset, and an image of a 'working' dog taken from his FB profile
Dog abuser Scott Ayres/Pope and an image of a ‘working’ dog taken from his FB profile

Scott Ayres and his partner in pet abuse Leanne Hodge

Ayres and Hodge were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a Patterdale terrier named Archie after not seeking veterinary care for wounds to his head, body and injured jaw.

Archie has made a full recovery since being rescued by RSPCA officers

Patterdale terrier Archie was discovered with his lower jaw degloved and puncture wounds to his face and body when he was rescued by the RSPCA in October 2017.

Archie was discovered with his lower jaw degloved and puncture wounds to his face and body when he was rescued by the RSPCA in October 2017.

Whilst no explanation for Archie’s injuries is given or even appears to have been investigated, there is evidence from Ayres’ Facebook profile that he enjoys inflicting suffering on wild animals such as foxes or badgers. The photo of the black lurcher and the shovels is taken from Ayres’ profile and he is a member of several ‘working dogs’ groups.

Archie has since recovered from his injuries during his time in the care of the RSPCA.

Sentence:
Ayres – suspended 12-week prison sentence. Community work. Total costs and charges of £415. Hodge – 16-week curfew order. Both were disqualified from keeping dogs for ten years (expires September 2028).

SomersetLive

Eccleshill, Bradford: Ben Wilson

#TheList Ben Wilson, born 23/05/1990, of 5 Prospect Street, Bradford BD10 8AD – for badger baiting and dog cruelty

Badger baiter Ben Wilson, who was jailed for 24 weeks for cruelty
Badger baiter Ben Wilson, who was jailed for 24 weeks for cruelty

In a case brought by the RSPCA, Wilson pleaded guilty to eight offences under the Protection of Badgers Act and Animal Welfare Act at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court.

He admitted five allegations of taking eight badgers on five different dates in July and August 2015, including at Thornton in Bradford and a location in Kent.

He was also guilty of cruelty and failing to meet the needs of a lurcher-type dog named Laddie, alongside a further charge of failing to meet the needs of nine bull lurcher-type puppies.

The charges linked to the cruelty of the dogs were said to have taken place at an address in High Street, Thornton, in August and September 2015.

In mitigation, the court heard that Wilson had self-treated Laddie’s injuries with medication he already had, but that he accepted he could have done more for the dog.

One of Ben Wilson's dog had extensive facial injuries caused during animal fighting
One of Ben Wilson’s dogs, Laddie, had extensive facial injuries caused during animal fighting

He also accepted that the environmental conditions the puppies were living in were unacceptable, although the puppies themselves were said to have been in good health.

A deprivation order was placed on the dogs.

Wilson had also faced charges relating to deer, but the outcome of those isn’t known.

Wilson openly bragged  on Facebook about using his dogs to attack and kill wildlife
Wilson openly bragged on Facebook about using his dogs to attack and kill wildlife

Speaking after the case, RSPCA inspector Sophie Long said: “Laddie had severe injuries to his face and body consistent with being used for badger baiting, and was suffering a great deal when he was removed by police and placed in our care.

“He wasn’t the only animal to suffer for Ben Wilson’s enjoyment.

“Wilson’s own hunting diary, seized by police from his home, along with posts on social media, documented the animals he had caused to suffer and die.

Badger baiter Ben Wilson, who was jailed for 24 weeks for cruelty
Wilson is banned from keeping any animals indefinitely but can appeal from 2026

“Nine bull lurcher puppies were living in an unsuitable environment at Wilson’s home, it seems likely bred with the intention of being used to inflict suffering, for his pleasure, in the same way.

“I’m very pleased that we will now be able to seek great new homes for these dogs where they will not be caused to suffer, or be forced to be the cause of suffering for other animals.”

Sentence: 24 weeks in prison; costs of £750 and a victim surcharge of £115; disqualified from keeping any animals indefinitely, with no appeal against the ban allowed for at least ten years.

Telegraph & Argus
Yorkshire Post

Bolton, Greater Manchester: John Psaila

#TheList John George Psaila, born 02/12/1965, of 11 Alan Ball House, 89 Bolton Road, Farnworth, Bolton BL4 7AT – a “key figure” in British dog-fighting

John Psaila
John Psaila is believed to be behind some of most serious dog fighting gangs in the country

RSPCA officers uncovered what was in effect a training school for pit bull terrier-type dogs at John Psaila’s previous home in Thornvale, Abram, Wigan.

Psaila admitted 14 allegations including training dogs for the purpose of fighting, possession of equipment designed or adapted for use in dog-fighting and possession of pit bull terrier-type dogs.

John Psaila

Officers even discovered one dog being trained on a treadmill when they arrived at Psaila’s address in summer 2014.

Inspectors from the RSPCA’s special operations unit – which investigates organised animal crime – joined officers from Greater Manchester Police on warrants at Psaila’s Abram address, as well as a house on Lowton Street in Radcliffe, Manchester, on June 9, 2014.

Inspectors found dog-fighting paraphernalia and medical supplies for treating wounds at Psaila's home
Inspectors found dog-fighting paraphernalia and medical supplies for treating wounds at Psaila’s home

They were acting on information that he was involved in organised dog-fighting and an allegation he was preparing to take a dog to a fight.

At the Abram address they found what resembled a training school for fighting dogs, including treadmills, weighing scales, home veterinary kits with medication and muscle-gaining powder and breaking sticks, which are typically used to separate dogs during a fight.

One of Psaila's fighting dogs
One of Psaila’s fighting dogs

The RSPCA found Psaila had two pit bull-type dogs – called Ziggy and Tip – in his care and he subsequently admitted training both of the dogs to fight.

Psaila also admitted to training a dog called Cruise to fight. Although the dog was not found at either address, texts from his phone revealed plans to arrange a fight between Cruise and another unknown dog.

John Psaila

Footage of the dogs being trained on treadmills was found on the defendant’s mobile phone, said the RSPCA.

Other paraphernalia such as dog-fighting yearbooks and magazines, as well as a bucket and a sponge covered in blood were also discovered at a property belonging to Psaila.

John Psaila's pit bull tattoo
Psaila’s pit bull tattoo

The father-of-two, who has a pit bull tattooed across his back, winked at his daughter when he was jailed after admitting a series of crimes under the Animal Welfare Act.

Magistrates also ordered the destruction of two pit bull-type animals as they were considered too dangerous to spare.

Sentence: jailed for 121 days. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Manchester Evening News
BBC News

Grimsby/Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire: Liam Ardito, Gary Cannon and Mark Smith

#TheList Liam Patrick Ardito, born 28/11/1979, of 4 Westwood Road, Healing, Grimsby DN41 7SA, Gary Lee Cannon, born 12/03/1985, of 2 Davenport Drive, Cleethorpes DN35 9JT, and Mark Wesley Smith, born 05/11/1959, of 16 Broadway, Little Coates, Grimsby DN34 5RN – set dogs on foxes and a badger and watched them being savaged to death

Wildlife criminals from Grimsby/Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire Gary Cannon, Liam Ardito and Mark Smith
L-R Gary Cannon, Liam Ardito, Mark Smith

The odious trio’s sickening activities were uncovered during an early-morning RSPCA raid on Smith’s home in Broadway, as other officers conducted a simultaneous operation in Newbury Avenue, where Ardito was living at the time.

Gary Cannon caught on camera with a brutalised fox
Gary Cannon caught on camera enjoying his sick hobby

Items removed from Smith’s property included an air rifle, a wild bird trap and a terrier-cross dog. Birds of prey, ferrets and dogs were being kept in the back garden of the property which was fitted with seven security cameras.

Gary Cannon and Mark Smith drag a screaming fox from her den before throwing her to a pack of dogs to be savaged to death
Gary Cannon and Mark Smith drag a screaming fox from her den before throwing her to a pack of dogs to be savaged to death

Ardito, Cannon and Smith carried out the sickening attacks – some of which they recorded on video – between April 2010 and August 2012.

Smith had thousands of images of dogs attacking animals on his computer, and memory sticks found in his home.

Twisted Mark Smith with a helpless fox
Twisted Mark Smith with a helpless victim

The men’s lawyer Clive Rees of Clive Rees & Associates admitted there was “no justification” for his client’s actions. He added the best he could say for his clients was they had been winding down their activities, saying they believed it was “getting too hot and too heavy.”

Nigel Burn, prosecuting for the RSPCA, described their behaviour as “intentionally cruel”, telling the court, it amounted to “torture”.

The men's dogs suffered a catalogue of facial injuries
The men’s dogs suffered a catalogue of facial injuries

Liam Ardito admitted the following charges:

  • Causing unnecessary suffering to dog by causing it to fight with another animal
  • Jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Causing an animal fight between a dog and a fox
  • Jointly with Gary Cannon causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Causing an animal fight between a dog and a badger
  • Causing unnecessary mental suffering to a fox by caging it
  • Jointly with Gary Cannon causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Jointly with Gary Cannon causing unnecessary suffering to fox by causing it to be attacked by two dogs
  • Jointly with Mark Smith causing an animal fight between two dogs and another animal
  • Jointly with Mark Smith causing unnecessary suffering to a black and tan terrier by making it fight with another animal
  • Jointly with Mark Smith, taking wild birds, namely sparrowhawks
  • Keeping premises for use in animal fighting

Gary Cannon admitted the following charges:

  • Jointly with Liam Ardito causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Jointly with Liam Ardito causing an animal fight between a dog and a badger
  • Jointly with Liam Ardito causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by dog
  • Jointly with Liam Ardito causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by two dogs
  • Jointly with Mark Smith causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog

Mark Smith admitted the following charges:

  • Being present at an animal fight between a fox and a dog
  • Aiding and abetting Liam Ardito in causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Two counts of aiding and abetting Liam Ardito and Gary Cannon in causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Being present at a fight between a dog and a badger
  • Being found, in Broadway, in possession of a trap for the trapping of wild birds
  • Aiding and abetting Liam Ardito and Gary Cannon in causing unnecessary suffering to two terrier dogs by causing them to fight with a fox
  • Aiding and abetting an unknown person to cause unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Together with Liam Ardito, at Littlecoates Road, causing an animal fight between two dogs and an unknown animal
  • Together with Gary Cannon, causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • With Liam Ardito, causing unnecessary suffering to a black and tan terrier by causing it to fight with an unknown animal
  • Possessing a wild bird, namely a curlew
  • Possessing a wild bird, namely a rook

Sentencing: four-month custodial sentence for each count to run concurrently. Ardito and Smith were banned from keeping dogs and birds for at least 10 years and Cannon from keeping dogs for at least 10 years (expires March 2023).

North West Hunt Saboteurs

====
After Ardito, Cannon and Smith were sentenced, the RSPCA released a series of photographs of men believed to be associates of the trio. It is unknown whether any of them were ever traced or prosecuted.

Unidentified associates of Ardito, Cannon and Smith

Source: North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

Keighley, West Yorkshire: Anthony Lee

#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

Badger baiter Anthony 'Antwon' Lee from Keighley, City of Bradford, is banned from keeping animals for life
A magistrate wiped away tears while watching three videos of animal fights that Anthony Lee recorded.

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.

BBC News

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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.