A MAN caught badger baiting was photographed by the landowner armed with dogs, nets and a spade, a court was told.
Alan Henderson was spotted making his way towards the badger sett in woods near Crook, County Durham, along with another man on the night of February 5.
Kevin Campbell, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said the landowner tailed the pair and found that the 28-year-old and his accomplice had already put a terrier into the sett and had covered the entrance with the net.
He confronted the pair and photographed the scene.
Henderson appeared before Darlington magistrates to admit attempting to take a badger and interfering with a badger sett.
He also pleaded guilty to two animal welfare charges relating to the condition of four dogs at his home near Frosterley, Weardale.
Mr Campbell said officers found a range of hunting paraphernalia including an electric dog collar, used as a tracking device, at Henderson’s home.
They also found four dogs living outside in dirty conditions and one, a patterdale terrier, had an abscess and facial cuts.
Mr Campbell said: “In the vet’s opinion the injuries were caused by a confrontation with a badger in a badger sett.”
Sonny Lawson, mitigating, described Henderson as a “hard working family man” whose long hours meant that he struggled to find time to look after his dogs.
He said Henderson denied his dog had fought with a badger on the night in question and that he had been out ferreting when he “foolishly” agreed to help put a net over what he believed was a fox burrow.
Mr Lawson added Henderson had been treating the terrier’s abscess with penicillin and “did the best he could” for his dogs.
Magistrates imposed a 12 week suspended prison sentence plus a 7pm to 7am six month curfew. He was also ordered to pay £1,580 court costs and charges and banned from keeping animals for five years.