Jan 06, 2015 15:14
By Luke Traynor
William Chrystal and Leighton David Shiers were found with incriminating pictures on their mobile phones
Two Kirkby men admitted digging down to snare young badgers in the countryside to train terriers to attack them, a court heard.
William Chrystal, 24 and Leighton David Shiers, 18, were caught with shovels, walkie talkies and were wearing camouflage jackets at a well-known underground sett in north Wales when police pounced.
Three more of the gang sprinted off when officers arrived at the scene in Holywell on April 26, just before midnight, following a tip-of from a dog walker.
Peter Humphrey-Jones, prosecuting at Flintshire Magistrates, described how Chrystal and Shiers had pre-planned the operation which had involved GPS equipment and dog collars fitted with transmitters and a receiver to pin-point the location of the badgers.
The animals, if captured, could also have been sold on, the court heard, as magistrates warned the pair, they could be jailed for the ‘very serious matter.’
They pleaded guilty to attempting to take, kill or injure a badger.
Chrystal, of Milestone Road, and Shiers, of Melling Way, were banned from entering Wales before their sentencing.
Mr Humphrey-Jones told magistrates: “The ultimate intention was to take a badger from the sett. Chrystal knew what he was up to.”
Incriminating photographs had been found on his mobile phone including a badger dig taking place along with a picture of an animal being torn apart.
Also seized was a image of a young badger in a domestic setting, on a bed in an unidentified house.
Police who investigated found a parked vehicle containing dog boxes and two terriers, including lamps.
One officer got within 10 feet and identified himself as a policeman – but the man closest to him turned and raised the spade above his head in a threatening way.
The cop drew his Taser gun, prompting a shout of ‘Run’ from one of the mob, which led to two being caught.
Five shovels, including a specialist digging spade with a narrow blade, were recovered.
Shiers and Chrsytal stayed silent during police interview and refused to name their accomplices, the court heard.
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