September 19, 2016
NINE men have admitted killing deer amid a string of crimes against animals in Devon.
The men pleaded guilty to hunting deer at night and being cruel to their own dogs after a prosecution brought by the RSPCA.
One man admitted killing deer and badgers and using a dog to attack a pig.
All nine men, from Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Wales, have been prosecuted at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on September 7 after investigators obtained video evidence.
A district judge has adjourned sentence pending probation reports.
Two other men await trial after denying similar offences.
Graham Coombes, 41, of Abbey Road, Bovey Tracey, pleaded guilty to three counts of intentionally killing deer at night on different dates in 2014.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of wilfully killing a badger and one of wilfully injuring a badger.
Coombes admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a pig by attacking it with a dog.
He finally pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a terrier called Marley by failing to treat its injuries.
Ryan Robinson, 20, of Foundry Court in Chudleigh, admitted taking a deer without the consent of the owner. He also pleaded guilty to killing a deer on another date.
Oliver Blatch, 27, of Sturminster Newton, Dorset, and 29-year-old Kenneth Danes of Culmhead near Taunton pleaded guilty to two counts of killing deer at night.
Gethyn Durham, 27, of Cymbran, Gwent in Wales, admitted one count of killing a deer.
He also pleaded guilty to possession of a pitbull-type dangerous dog and five charges of keeping other dogs in an unsuitable environment.
Brian Forrest 40, of Kingston St Mary, near Taunton, and Dean McGrath, aged 29, of Cwmbran, each admitted a single count of killing deer.
Joseph O’Connor, 23, of Pontardawe near Swansea, admitted three charges of killing deer in 2014.
Pheon Radford, 22, of Ystrad in the Rhondda Valley, pleaded guilty to killing a deer and caused unnecessary suffering to a dog. He failed to go to a vet to treat a lurcher’s jaw injury.
Ryan Robinson, aged 20, of Foundry Court in Chudleigh, admitted taking a deer without the consent of the owner. He also pleaded guilty to killing a deer on another date.
Some of the offences, carried out in unspecified locations, were committed jointly by the defendants.
District Judge Diana Baker adjourned sentence on all nine men to November 10 for probation officers to prepare reports on their backgrounds. All options including custody will be considered.
Co-defendants Philip Cross, 36, of Tonypandy in the Rhondda and Daniel Ravenscroft, 37, of Grange Road, Buckfast, each denied counts of killing deer at night.
Cross also pleaded not guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a lurcher by failing to get it treated for a broken leg.
Their cases were adjourned until October 31 for legal argument pending a trial.
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