Plymouth dog fighting and badger killing probe: seven in court


January 16, 2015

SEVEN people appearing at court have denied a raft of charges relating to a dog and animal fighting investigation.

The six men and one woman – Nathan Baker, Jack Curnow, Craig Ford, Benjamin Luscombe, Craige McCormick, Alex Salt and Kerry Wrightson – appeared at Torquay magistrates court where they face a total of 35 counts under the Animal Welfare Act, the Protection of Badgers Act and the Deer Act.

The case was brought following a joint investigation by police and the RSPCA.

Baker, aged 21, from River Park, Horrabridge faces two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, one of not ensuring the welfare of an animal, one count of killing a deer at night, one count of keeping/training dogs for use in connection with an animal fight, one of causing or attempting to cause an animal fight to take place, one count of wilfully killing a badger and two counts of being present at an animal fight.

Curnow, aged 23, of no fixed abode, faces one count of keeping/training dogs for use in connection with an animal fight and one of killing a deer at night. Ford, aged 24, of Bampfylde Way, Southway faces one count of keeping/training dogs for use in connection with an animal fight, one count of causing or attempting to cause an animal fight to take place and one of wilfully killing a badger.

Luscombe, aged 25, of Kennel Hill Close, Plymouth, faces one count of not ensuring the welfare of an animal, one count of keeping/training dogs for use in connection with an animal fight, one count of causing or attempting to cause an animal fight to take place, one count of wilfully killing a badger and one of killing a deer at night.

McCormick, age 24, of Chaddlewood, faces one count of keeping/training dogs for use in connection with an animal fight, two counts of killing a deer at night, three counts of wilfully killing a badger and three counts of causing or attempting to cause an animal fight to take place.

Salt, aged 24, of Coldrennick Street, Barne Barton faces one count of keeping/training dogs for use in connection with an animal fight, one of wilfully killing a badger and one count of causing or attempting to cause an animal fight to take place. Wrightson, 21, from River Park, Horrabridge faces two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and one count of not ensuring the welfare of an animal.

All seven pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this week at Torquay magistrates.

At a previous hearing prosecutor for the RSPCA John Wyatt told Plymouth magistrates the joint investigation ran from July 2013 to the beginning of this year. He evidence included mobile phone analysis and DVD footage.

The seven will next appear at Plymouth Magistrates Court on March 9 for a case management hearing.

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Seven-deny-charges-relating-animal-dog-fighting/story-25877275-detail/story.html

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