Walsall man set Jack Russell dogs on foxes, hunting trial is told


12 Oct 2016
By Andy Richardson

Stephen Parkes denies fox hunting and claims he was trying to dig his dogs out of hole.

A BLACK Country man accused of setting his dogs on two foxes told police at the scene that he had been hunting the animals, a court has heard.

Officers who came across a group of men using torches on waste ground found a mud-covered Stephen Parkes with a shovel, a pile of freshly dug earth and two dead foxes with their tails removed lying nearby.

In a car parked a few yards from the scene, police discovered two tri-colour Jack Russell terriers named Bully and Ted with blood-covered muzzles, belonging to Parkes.

Parkes, who denies fox-hunting contrary to the 2004 Hunting Act and two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs, is on trial at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court .

Opening the case for the RSPCA , which brought the prosecution, Kyra Badman told a district judge that when police asked the 35-year-old what he was doing he had allegedly admitted “foxing”.

“On being cautioned by police, Mr Parkes said ‘Yeah I’ll hold my hands up, I was foxing’,” said Miss Badman. “‘I sent the dogs in. They were down there for too long so I had to dig them out’.”

Parkes later told officers that he had actually lost his dogs on a walk and was just trying to dig them out after they got stuck down a hole.

Miss Badman said that Detective Sergeant Stephen Parkes – who is not connected to the defendant – and PC Colin Kimberley were on plainclothes duty when they spotted a Ford Mondeo parked by waste ground on November 29 last year.

Approaching the waste land off Goscote Lodge Crescent, in Walsall, the officers “saw a group of people with torches”.

The cops had gone unnoticed by the men until they called out to them from the darkness “Police!”, causing all but two of the group to scatter.

Miss Badman said that one of the two men, who were both clasping shovels, was Parkes.

“He confirmed that the two dogs in the Mondeo were his,” she added.

The detective sergeant, giving his evidence in court, said: “The foxes had been laid out near where the ground had been dug.”

Pc Kimberley, also giving his account, said: “As we approached we could see freshly dug earth, two dead foxes, blood-stained and lying next to each other.”

He added that the dogs in the back of the car had “fresh blood” on their noses.

Vet Olivia Pickering who later examined the dogs, a male and a female, found they had “multiple small wounds” on their muzzles and signs of infection which needed treating with pain killers and antibiotics.

Another veterinary surgeon Dr Deborah Wragg said the injuries were consistent with those inflicted by a fox.

Asked why the tails may have been removed, she said: “Sometimes a tail is taken as a trophy in a hunting situation.”

In his police interview, Parkes, of Bloxwich Road, Walsall, said: “I took the dogs for a walk. We came across other people and they said ‘Are you looking for a terrier? It’s gone down a hole’.”

Parkes said the foxes had been killed by another dog and not his terriers.

The trial continues.

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/walsall-man-set-dogs-foxes-12015182

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