THREE Grimsby men are today appearing in court charged with a total of 69 counts of animal cruelty – including setting dogs on foxes and filming them mauling them to death.
The trio were charged following a series of raids conducted by Humberside Police and the RSPCA in August last year, as reported at the time in the Grimsby Telegraph.
Liam Ardito, 33, of Newbury Avenue, Great Coates, and Gary Cannon, 27, of Alfred Bannister Mews, Laceby, are charged with a number of serious offences, including causing unnecessary suffering to animals. Ardito faces 27 charges and Cannon 14.
A third man, Mark Smith, 53, of Broadway, Grimsby, stands accused killing wild birds and causing animals to fight.
Among the charges being faced at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court are:
- Causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by placing it in a sack and allowing it to be attacked by a dog.
- Eight counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by allowing it to be attacked by one or more dogs.
- 16 counts of allowing animal fights to take place.
- Four counts of wilfully attempting to kill a badger.
- Two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs by causing them to fight with a fox.
- Three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by causing it to fight with another animal.
- Causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by failing to obtain veterinary care.
- Keeping a bull terrier-type dog trained for fighting.
- Keeping premises for use for an animal fight.
- Causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by another fox.
- Three counts of intentionally taking wild sparrow hawks.
- Intentionally killing a wild curlew.
- Intentionally killing a wild rook.
The Grimsby Telegraph accompanied the RSPCA on their early-morning raid on a property in Broadway, as other officers conducted a simultaneous operation in Newbury Avenue, after photographs of dead foxes were discovered during an investigation.
During the operation, officers removed items including an air rifle, a wild bird trap and a terrier-cross dog from the Broadway home.
It is alleged that birds of prey, ferrets and dogs were being kept in the back garden, and that there were seven security cameras installed on the exterior of the house.