Colne thugs jailed for animal cruelty offences

Three Colne thugs have been sent to jail for their part in “sickening” animal cruelty offences.

Shaun Mullens (22), of Leach Street, Joshua Varey (24), of Duke Street, and Paul Ashworth (49), of Hawley Street, all appeared at Pennine Magistrates’ Court today.

Mullens and Varey both pleaded guilty to attempting to kill a badger, while Ashworth pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, namely a black cat. Ashworth had been recorded on a mobile phone camera trying to shake a terrified cat from a tree. Laughter could be heard in the background.

Footage was also shown in court of the badger attacks.

Ashworth was given a 76-day custodial sentence, and was disqualified from owning dogs for five years.

Mullens was handed a 114-day sentence, and was disqualified from owning dogs for ten years.

Varey received a 126-day sentence, and was disqualified from owning dogs for ten years.

The case had been brought forward by the RSPCA, with assistance from Lancashire Police.

Speaking outside the court following the sentencing, PC Nigel Keates said: “I think the sentence has been absolutely appropriate.

“These were sickening attacks on defenceless animals.

“I would appeal now for a little bit of calm and relief from anybody on social media. There has been a sentence, and the courts have done their duty.”


Joshua Varey previous conviction


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Counter-cull advice and tips

Thanks to Gloucestershire Badger Office for the info –


Useful Numbers and Contact Details:

OFFICE 07582607913 &

ARREST NUMBER (only for those who are reporting an arrest or arrestees calling from the station to inform us of your arrest or arrange being picked up) 07963 831493

CAMP and WELFARE (only for accommodation and welfare on site) 07845 467956

POLICE LIAISON (NOT EMPLOYED BY POLICE! …for comments re policing, basic legal advice and back-up if police are acting inappropriately) 07590 434492

Vale Wildlife Rescue (only for wildlife casualties – call office for wildlife ambulance) 01386 882288

Somerset stag hunters face trial as Cumbria case dropped

By TristanCork | Posted: September 11, 2014

Three leading members of one of the West’s biggest hunts will stand trial next year on charges of breaking the ban on hunting.

The two joint masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, David Greenwood and Rupert Andrews, are charged with one count of illegally hunting a deer during a meet at Warren’s Farm in Simonsbath on Exmoor almost exactly a year ago, on September 14, 2013.

Mr Greenwood is also charged alongside huntsman Donald Summersgill for illegally hunting on a second occasion at Coppleham Cross on October 24 last year.

The case has been brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, and not as a private prosecution by either the League Against Cruel Sports or the RSPCA. It was brought to court by the CPS on the basis of evidence obtained by League monitors, and after more investigation by the police.

The trio, who have denied all the charges, will stand trial on February 2 next year. The Countryside Alliance has consistently called for the case to be dropped, and yesterday were calling for a review of the way the CPS is bringing prosecutions for illegal hunting, after a case in Cumbria collapsed.

Edward Liddle, the huntsman with the Melbreak Hunt, had been charged with illegal hunting back in March, but earlier today the CPS dropped the charge.

Countryside Alliance director of campaigns Tim Bonner said: “Mr Liddle and the Melbreak cooperated fully with the police inquiries from the start and there was never any evidence that Mr Liddle had been in breach of either act, therefore we were surprised when Cumbria Constabulary chose to pursue their inquiries. It was even more inexplicable when the CPS then chose to bring charges against Mr Liddle.

“There was no chance that the case could ever have proceeded to a conviction and all it has achieved is a waste of police and court time and tax-payer’s money and has put Mr Liddle through a completely unnecessary process.

“The Melbreak hunt has operated within the law since the Hunting Act came into force and has huge support from the local community. We are very confident that their activities are entirely legitimate,” he added.

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Sheffield Saboteurs Stop Dig-Out of Badger Sett – YouTube

Published on 9 Sep 2014

On 8th September 2014, The CPS dropped the prosecution charge of interfering with a badger sett, against 3 terriermen from the York & Ainsty South hunt on 28/12/13, 2 days before their trial.

This is despite damning video evidence, witnesses, and the badger sett having been declared in use by badgers, by an independent expert (on behalf of North Yorkshire Police).

And the police wonder why we feel the need to directly sabotage hunts!
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Badger cull protesters save trapped animal as second phase starts | The Guardian

In the early hours of Tuesday two saboteurs in Gloucestershire found a badger trapped in a cage with cullers nearby.

The police were called and the saboteurs pointed out that under government guidelines trapped badgers should be released if there was a risk of interference from a third party. Stop the Cull said police "did the right thing" and freed the badger.
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Man given suspended jail sentence after admitting animal cruelty offences


Ross Clark, aged 19, of Gorad Road, Holyhead, North Wales has been given a suspended jail sentence after he admitted a string of animal cruelty charges following a major operation to tackle wildlife crime.

He was caught as part of Operation Morpheus, which was led last August by our special operations unit in partnership with North Wales Police.

He was also banned from keeping dogs for 10 years, ordered to pay £450 in court costs, must carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and also comply with a curfew between 7pm and 7am for 12 weeks.

Dogs used to fight wild animals

The 19-year-old appeared at Caernarfon Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 1 September when he pleaded guilty to five charges, including one charge of keeping two dogs for use in connection with fighting wild animals.

He also admitted two separate charges of causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and two charges of possession of a dead badger, contrary to the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.

RSPCA Inspector Vikki Dawe said:

“The sentence passed down shows just how serious these offences are taken by the courts.

“It sends out a strong and clear message to anyone who thinks they can take their dogs out into the countryside to fight wild animals.

“This case once again demonstrates the success of joint working between the RSPCA and the police, who are both committed to the fight against wildlife crime.”

Hunting wild mammals with dogs

Operation Morpheus was launched after we received intelligence which suggested the man, along with other people, was involved in hunting wild mammals with dogs. Warrants were carried out by North Wales Police at six addresses on 20 August last year.

Two dogs, a black whippet called Jack and a tan coloured terrier called Harvey, were seized by police at the mans address, along with computer equipment and mobile telephones.

The court was told that evidence found online and on the defendant’s phone showed him holding the body of a dead badger. There were also images of injuries sustained by his dogs, which had been taken on various dates, and images of his dogs attacking other animals including a fox.

The man initially claimed the badger was road kill, picked up by his friends who then gave him a lift and photographed him with the dead animal.

However, evidence provided by a vet concluded that both Jack and Harvey would have suffered due to a failure to properly treat their injuries, which were consistent with fighting with wild mammals.

North Wales Police Environmental Crime Officer, PC Eryl Lloyd, said:

“This sort of animal cruelty is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in North Wales. We work alongside RSPCA officers to detect such offences and will prosecute offences when evidence is found. There is a close working partnership between North Wales Police and RSPCA officers, which will continue in the future

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Four men banned from Lincolnshire after being caught hare coursing

1st September 2014

Four men appeared in Skegness Magistrates’ Court on Friday for offences of trespass in pursuit of game which occurred at Chapel St Leonards on the morning of Sunday, January 19.

The offences came to light after a witness saw a man in a field with a greyhound type dog in front of him chasing a hare.

Believing that he was hare coursing, she rang the Police.

An East Lindsey District Council CCTV camera at Chapel Point was utilised to look above nearby houses into fields beyond where the first sighting had occurred.

The camera picked up a figure with a dog in a field moving south. A minute later the camera picked up a further two figures also moving south. These figures were monitored by the camera for the next 20 minutes.

The CCTV camera monitored a Ford Focus arriving in the car park. The car was tracked for some time before police stopped it on Sea Road, Anderby. The four men were in the car and four lurcher type dogs were in the boot.

Upon conviction, all four men were excluded from entering Lincolnshire with any dog for two years from August 29.

The men and further sentences they received are detailed below:

Carl Raines, 45, from Driffield, East Yorkshire. He was fined a total of £260.

John Riley, 31, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire. He was fined a total of £558.

Brad Barber, 25, from County Durham. He was fined a total of £586.

Paul Thompson, 37, from Nafferton, East Yorkshire. He was fined a total of £586

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Charity steps up attack on cruelty after hunt members sent for trial by Crown Prosecution Service

1 September 2014

The League Against Cruel Sports today announced plans for a major boost in its fight against animal cruelty after its evidence led to the Crown Prosecution Service authorising criminal proceedings against members of two hunt groups.1reward pr

Welcoming the news, Chief Executive Joe Duckworth said the League would now boost its investigations of illegal hunting further with a major public appeal for information relating to illegal hunting to help catch individuals responsible for inflicting cruelty to animals.

As an added incentive, in certain circumstances the charity will also offer a reward of up to £1,000 for information which directly leads to a conviction under the Hunting Act 2004 in England and Wales, or the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002, in Scotland.

Joe Duckworth commented “Polling shows that the public are overwhelmingly opposed to cruelty to animals in the name of sport and they support the Hunting Act which came into force 10 years ago.

“Based on our evidence, nine summonses have been issued this year alone under the Hunting Act and we are now giving members of the public a chance to play their part in helping to end that cruelty.

“Our work relies on good intelligence such as when and where illegal hunting is taking place, and details of the individuals involved. We are appealing to anyone that may have information that could help us investigate this criminal activity and bring the perpetrators of this type of animal cruelty to justice."

The League, which was instrumental in securing the ban on hunting, works to expose and end cruelty to animals in the name of sport, with a major focus of its investigative work on illegal hunting. The charity’s team of investigators work to capture evidence of this, in order to bring prosecutions against those who continue to hunt wild animals for sport in defiance of the hunt ban.

Members of the public with information relating to hunting activities are being urged to report it via crimewatch, the charity’s website using the online form or by calling the confidential Wildlife Crimewatch line on 01483 361 108. Any criminal activity should also be reported to the Police on 101.


Notes to Editor

Master and Huntsman of the Middleton Hunt, Tom HOLT faces a charge of Hunting a Wild Mammal with Dogs at West Knapton, Malton, North Yorkshire, on 19th February 2014, contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004. A summons has been issued and the case is to be heard at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on 5th September 2014.

Kennel Huntsman of the Middleton Hunt, Barry Lee ANDREWS faces a charge of Interfering with a Badger Sett near Bossall, North Yorkshire, on 12th March 2014, contrary to Section 3(c) of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. A summons has been issued and the case is to be heard at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on 12th September 2014.

Paul WHITEHEAD, Huntsman of the Lunesdale Foxhounds Limited, faces a charge of Hunting a Wild Mammal with Dogs on 18th February 2014, contrary to Section 1.

Terence POTTER, who is a Company Director of the Lunesdale Foxhounds Limited, faces a similar charge on behalf of the company as a body corporate, under the provisions of Section 10.

Summonses have been issued and the case is to be heard at Skipton Magistrates’ Court on 5th September 2014. The case is based on evidence supplied to the police by the League Against Cruel Sports.

The League is specifically looking for information and details relating to:

  • traditional hunts are due to meet (this can be individual dates/times or a ‘meet card’ giving a full listing)
  • individuals who are known to hunt wild animals illegally
  • artificial earths to encourage foxes for hunting
  • foxes being kept by hunt members to be released for hunting
  • any other information which could help identify instances of illegal hunting

All information reported by members of the public to the League Against Cruel Sports will be treated in complete confidence

Polling carried out by Ipsos MORI shows 80 per cent of the Great British public think that fox hunting should not be made legal again; 85 per cent think deer hunting should not be made legal again; and 87 per cent think hare hunting/coursing should not be made legal again. Ipsos MORI

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Hunt saboteur Hospitalised after Being ridden down by Fox hunter

Latest news from the HSA:

The sab who was injured yesterday has 5 broken ribs but her spine is in tact thankfully. She’s in good spirits – could be the morphine. We will keep posting updates as we get them.

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Badger Trust court challenge rejected, but serious concerns remain over continuation of pilot culls

29th August 2014


Badger Trust court challenge rejected, but serious concerns remain over continuation of pilot culls

The Administrative Court has today handed down its judgment in Badger Trust’s judicial review of the Secretary of State’s decision to continue the pilot culls without independent oversight.

In line with the precautionary approach adopted by the Secretary of State during the development and implementation of the policy, Badger Trust had understood from statements made by her predecessors that an Independent Expert Panel (IEP) would oversee, and analyse the results from, the pilot culls until a final decision was made on whether or not to roll out the culls to other areas.

However, despite the IEP finding that the first year of the pilot culls failed (by a significant margin) to achieve appropriate standards of both effectiveness and humaneness, the Secretary of State decided to continue the pilot culls with a view to a future roll-out, but without independent oversight to ensure such standards can actually be met. The Badger Trust therefore brought proceedings to prevent the Secretary of State from breaking her promise.

The Administrative Court has today found that, as a matter of law, the Secretary of State’s assurances did not amount to an enforceable legitimate expectation. However, the Court also rejected the Secretary of State’s attempt to argue that if there was a legitimate expectation she had properly considered whether she could resile from it.

Dominic Dyer, CEO of Badger Trust, commented:

“The Trust is considering its options in respect of an appeal against the Court’s decision. However, this judgment does not detract from the serious public concerns over the continuation of the cull, including the most recent leaks regarding potentially unlawful and unsafe activity undertaken by culling contractors during the 2013 culls. Given the indisputable failure of the 2013 culls, the still unresolved issues regarding safety and the significant uncertainty over the numbers of badgers to be killed in 2014, the only sensible option for the Secretary of State is to call a halt to these pilots, and the potentially unnecessary and inhumane deaths of hundreds of badgers.

“However, if she is not willing to do so, we call on Ms Truss to reinstate the IEP. As Counsel for the Trust, David Wolfe QC, observed during the hearing, the Secretary of State is not just moving the goal posts, but has banished the independent referee from the pitch. Whatever happens during the second year of the culls, in the absence of the IEP, it will be impossible to trust any findings supporting a wider roll out, not least because this is already clearly the preferred option of the Secretary of State."



Dominic Dyer CEO Badger Trust Tel: 07876 596233
Jack Reedy Badger Trust – Media Adviser Tel: 07751 731107 or 01564 783129

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