Three men accused of hunting badgers with dogs lied under oath in a tale concocted to protect themselves Wallasey magistrates heard on 12/7/02. Stephen Baker (38) of Overpool Road, Ellesmere Port, Stephen Butler (30) of Cedar Gardens, Queensferry, and Stephen Fowell (30) of Whitfield Street, Tranmere are accused of badger digging on farmland in Pensby. Prosecutors alleged they fled the scene when officers approached, leaving a dog trapped underground in a badger sett. The trio deny the charges, saying they ran away because they knew they were trespassing. They admitted trespassing on the land up to three times to rescue the dog. The prosecution old the court how the three men, who are not members of recognised terrier clubs, failed to take warnings about possible badger activity on the site. “To hunt on a piece of land, you must obey rules. “You firstly must obtain written permission to hunt, be a member of a working terrier club, be able to identify badger sites on the land and give reliable evidence of your name and address, if stopped by the police. “What you are telling the court today is nonsense because you were there to try to get a badger.” The men claimed that they had been interested in visiting the land to hunt for rats, rabbits and a fox. Baker told the court how he had been familiar with the area of land and had been intrigued by fox holes he had found on a previous visit. “I went to the land because there was a nice fox earth there. I could tell by the size of the hole and it stank of fox,” he said. “I checked the hole first and then the dog went down it “I am more interested in foxes and rats than badgers. I am not a badger baiter and have even worked with Clwyd Badger Group.” Baker then told how he was forced to dig the hole when he found that the terrier was missing. He said: “I tried using my locator and put my arm in to the hole. I was a few inches away, it was so frustrating. I then decided to dig the dog out.” The dog was recovered three hours later by officers in a hole on the other side of the field. No signs of fox activity were found at the location. The men were remanded on unconditional bail. On 15/7/02 and witness called The Reverend and Worshipful Professor Doctor Barry Peachey ( dressed as a priest in a bid to appear more creditable) was called as a defence witness.
On 27/7/02 Stephen Baker, Stephen Butler and Stephen Fowell were found guilty of badger digging. The judge told the trio it was ” abundantly obvious” they had deliberately set out to hunt badgers. In doing so, he said, they had ransacked the sett and as a result it had since been abandoned by the animals. He also said “I am in no doubt whatsoever that the three men set out on a joint enterprise and deliberately dug into a badger sett. “I’m warning you that these matters go way beyond the custodial threshold.” “You lied about the dog being stuck underground and lied about the smell of fox. These lies are beyond an innocent explanation.” All three men had pleaded not guilty to the charges. Baker, Butler and Fowell, who have no previous convictions, were remanded on unconditional bail to await pre-sentence reports. They will be sentenced on 20/8/02 and face up to six months behind bars.
On 30/702 at Market Harborough magistrates Francis Kevin Philips of Barrow upon Soar, near Loughborough, Leicestershire, pleaded not guilty to two counts of interfering with a badger sett. Philips is charged with blocking a badger sett as part of his terrierwork for the Hunt, by using illegal methods. The offences are alleged to have taken place, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. The case was adjourned by magistrates until 29/8/02, when a date will be set for trial.
On 20/8/02 Stephen Baker (38) of Overpool Road, Ellesmere Port, Stephen Butler (30) of Cedar Gardens, Queensferry, and Stephen Fowell (30) of Whitfield Street, Tranmere were found guilty of badger digging and of interfering with a badger sett, they were also sentenced to six weeks to run concurrently. The judge also banned the trio from owning a dog for three years.
Dogs suffered horrific injuries at the hands of three men who forced them to fight each other for fun. Two maimed pit-bull type terriers were found drenched in blood in a makeshift fighting pit at the home of Andrew Crowe (36) of Brampton Road, Cambridge. On 1/7/02 he was convicted of seven charges relating to dog fighting after the judge rejected his “feeble” story that the bout was an accident. His cousin Glenn Brown (27) of Stourbridge Grove, Cambridge and Mark Willis (32) of Chesterton High Street, were also convicted of dog fighting charges following the six-day trial. Crowe, who earlier admitted two counts of possessing pit-bull type dogs, was found guilty of causing dogs to fight, using his premises for dog fighting, two charges of causing dogs unnecessary suffering and being present at a dog fight. Brown was convicted of possessing a pit-bull type dog, two charges of causing dogs unnecessary suffering and being present at a dog fight. He was cleared of a single charge of assisting in a dog fight because the judge ruled it was impossible to determine what his role had been. Willis who admitted possessing a pit bull-type dog, was found guilty of being present at a dog fight. Willis was fined £400 and ordered to pay £5,000 towards the costs of the case, which totalled more than £42,000. The underground dog-fighting den was uncovered when police and RSPCA officers carried out a raid on Crowe’s garage. They found ropes suspended on springs used for strengthening the dogs’ jaws, a stopwatch, treadmill and “breaking sticks” used for prising the animals apart. Crowe, who has been suspended from his job at Cottenham Village College on full pay for more than a year, has a string of previous convictions. Cambridge Magistrates’ Court heard that he was convicted of criminal damage, theft and handling stolen goods during his late teens and early 20s. On 26/7/02 Andrew Crowe was sentenced to six months in prison for his part in the vicious sport, he also received six months for permitting suffering to pit bull-type terriers and causing the animals to fight, with both sentences to run concurrently. In addition he was fined £500 for each of the two pit bull-type dogs he owned. He was also banned from keeping dogs for 30 years and ordered to pay £2,000 costs. Glenn Brown was sentenced to the maximum 240 hours’ community punishment order for causing suffering to animals and a further 240 hours, to run concurrently, for possessing a dog bred specifically for fighting. He was also fined £500 for attending a dog fight, told to pay £5,000 costs and banned from keeping dogs for 20 years. All the dogs were ordered to be destroyed.
A Burton man shot a swan eight times in the head because he was “bored” and then boasted about it to a friend, Burton magistrates heard on 13/8/02. Craig Windsor (19) of James Court, admitted killing the eight-year-old male swan. The case was adjourned for reports until 6/9/02 when he will be sentenced. His unconditional bail was extended.
A farmer arrested for his part in an illegal campaign to save bloodsports says he was prepared to go to jail for his beliefs. Peter Teasdale (48) from Pockley, near Kirkbymoorside is a member of a group of hunt supporters who have been painting pro- bloodsports slogans. The slogans have appeared over the last couple of months on roads and public signs. The clean-up is estimated to be costing North Yorkshire County Council thousands of pounds. “I know what I did was against the law, but I just feel so passionately about fox-hunting,” said Teasdale. On 3/9/02 Teasdale appeared at Scarborough magistrates, but no hearing took place after Crown Prosecutors announced he was instead to receive nothing more than a caution. Teasdale had been accused of damaging six signs around Nawton and Hawnby valued at £1,971 and further signs to the value of £1,371. He was also accused of possessing four tins of spray paint and a stencil of “Hands Off Hunting” with the intent to cause damage to property belonging to North Yorkshire County Council. Teasdale is a member of the Sinnington Hunt.
A man with two previous convictions for taking bird eggs has been jailed for four months after he was caught with Osprey eggs at his home. Paul Anthony Sly (41) of Meadfoot Road, Willenhall, Coventry admitted nine offences at Coventry magistrates on 20/6/02. Also discovered at Sly’s home were five other species of egg and 23 dead birds in a freezer. Three other birds had been mounted.
A man described as one of Britain’s top wildlife thieves was jailed for stealing rare birds eggs. CarltonJulian D’Cruze (41) from Whitemeadow Drive, Crosby was sentenced on 4/9/02 to six months in prison after admitting possessing more than 400 rare eggs, including ospreys and golden eagles. The sentence is the longest ever imposed for such offences. South Sefton magistrates heard how D’Cruze was discovered flushing the eggs down the toilet when police officers raided his home. The court was also told how implements were found used to blow the contents out of the eggs. Appeal
A former racing trainer accused of cruelty to five racehorses has failed to appear before magistrates. Kamil Mahdi (53) of Newmarket, faces five charges of cruelty to animals in a prosecution bought by the RSPCA. On 19/7/02 Bury St Edmunds magistrates adjourned the case until 23/8/02 and urged Mahdi, who comes from Kuwait, to attend.
A horse breeder and her partner have been banned from keeping the animals for life after a court heard how RSPCA inspectors found ponies suffering on their farm. A district judge described an RSPCA video showing conditions at Ingst Manor Farm near Olveston, South Glos, as “horrific” after it was shown in court. He banned Susan Smith (44) and Brian Blizzard (41) from keeping horses for life. Smith had pleaded guilty to three counts of permitting unnecessary suffering to horses she owned and Blizzard had pleaded guilty to three counts of causing unnecessary suffering by omitting care. Smith staggered and wept in the dock at North Avon magistrates on 22/7/02 when told the pair they could never again keep horses. Smith was fined £1,500 and Blizzard £900. They were ordered to pay costs of more than £4,400.
A former zoo keeper was found to have over 100 exotic animals suffering in cramped and dirty conditions at his south London home. RSPCA and police raided the home of Peter Hill (48) of Sanderstead, South Croydon, and seized 102 animals including 17 flying squirrels, 12 bush babies, 25 sugar gliders and 48 different types of turtles, tortoises and terrapins. Hill was found guilty of 10 offences of causing unnecessary suffering and was cleared of 2 other offences. He was given a 2-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay 12,000 pounds costs but magistrates ordered the animals to be returned to him.
On 10/7/02 Ellis Daw, owner of Dartmoor Wildlife Park in Devon, pleaded guilty to breeding Siberian Tigers illegally (i.e. not part of a managed breeding programme) and keeping them in unsuitable conditions (6 tigers were found in a small off-show enclosure). 15 other charges against him were dropped. Daw was originally charged with 16 offences after an investigation by South Hams District Council found a number of serious management problems at the Zoo. Other charges related to taking animals to schools without permission from the council and failing to properly dispose of dead animals. TV news footage following the verdict showed dead animals in freezers next to animal food. Daw admitted that some animals may have been frozen for 30 years and that he sent dead zoo animals to taxidermists. Amazingly, despite his guilty plea to serious charges Daw received just a conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £200 costs.
Farm Animals (Guardians Of The Land – My Arse!!!)
A pig farmer who was accused of being at the centre of the foot-and-mouth outbreak has been banned from keeping farm animals for 15 years. A judge at South East Northumberland magistrates also ordered Bobby Waugh of St Luke’s Road, Pallion, in Sunderland to be electronically tagged for three months. At a previous hearing, the farmer was found guilty of five charges of failing to notify the relevant authorities of foot-and-mouth disease. Waugh had also been found guilty of two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to pigs; one count of feeding his animals unprocessed waste and one charge of failing to properly dispose of animal by-products. Waugh, who ran a fattening unit at Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland was also ordered to pay £10,000 towards the prosecution costs but he took into account the fact the former farmer’s finances were in an even worse position than he anticipated.
A farmer was ordered to pay £730 costs and given a 12 month conditional discharge for polluting a tributary of the River Fowey with farm slurry. On 1/7/02 magistrates at Liskeard were told that the Clinnick stream is a tributary of the River Fowey, an important salmon fishery. Downstream of the polluted watercourse is Restormal Water Treatment Works that supplies over half of
Cornwall’s drinking water. Alan Terry of Tithe Hall Farm, Twowatersfoot, Liskeard, pleaded guilty to causing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter to enter controlled waters.
A former magistrate will appear in court facing charges of criminal damage after a neighbour’s dog was shot dead. Michael Cuttell (63) has been summonsed to court after allegedly firing on a terrier. At the time he was reported to have said he believed the dog had been worrying his peacocks. After the shooting police were called in by the dogs owner and Cuttell, from Ullenwood, Gloucestershire, was later arrested and released on police bail. He faces charges of criminal damage and failing to comply with the conditions of a firearms certificate. He will appear before Swindon magistrates on 29/7/02.