Martin Bradley (29) of 88 Charford Road, Charford, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and Darren Hattersley (27) of 95 Hurlfield Road, Gleadlass, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, were both given 6 months and made to pay costs of £500 to the RSPCA by Redditch Magistrates on 9 February 1996. They were also both banned from keeping dogs for 5 years. They admitted cruelty to a badger, attempting to take a badger and charges of putting their terriers at risk. They were caught in February 1995 whilst digging a badger sett near Bromsgrove. After they realized they were being watched by the police, they ran off leaving their terriers at the sett. The police arrested both of them nearby. A dead badger cub was found at the sett along with their 5 terriers, some of which had facial injuries. Martin Bradley also has a previous conviction for attempting to take a badger dating back to February 1987, he was found guilty of digging for badgers in a wood at Dodford. After an appeal at Worcester Crown Court he was fined £200.
Robert Williams (48) of Rickstead Farm, Uppingham Road, East Norton, Leicestershire was convicted of destroying a badger sett and damaging another. On 30 January 1996 Lutterworth Magistrates fined the farmer £700 and ordered him to pay £260 costs. Williams employed Peter Waddington (42) of Melbourne Close, Kibworth Beauchamp (who was cleared of all charges) to clear shrubs and trees on his land in April 1995. A body of a 10 week old badger was found in one of the setts, on finding this Mr Waddington became very concerned, he said he had no idea that the land had a badger sett on it, and would not have cleared it if he did.
Damien Hughes (28) of 39 Ballytrodden Road, Benburb, County Armagh, Northern Ireland was found guilty by Cookstown Magistrates of disturbing a badger sett under the 1985 Northern Ireland Wildlife Order. He was fined £150 at a special sitting of the court in February 1996. The badger sett had been undisturbed for 20 years until Hughes came along with his terriers, he claimed he did not know it was a badger sett and he was only after foxes, (there goes that old excuse again).
Peter Gurr (53) of Chafford Walk, Rainham, Essex, was sentenced to four months on September 30 1995. Gurr was convicted of selling peregrine falcons that were stolen from the wild as eggs. The conviction was proven after using DNA testing.
When 40 police and RSPCA officers stormed the shed a Belvedere in April 1995, they found 15 men and a 16 year old youth watching two birds fighting. Four other birds lay dead on the ground. All the men tried to escape, but were tracked down by police dogs and a police helicopter. The court heard how Lee and Giles had organized the ‘cockfighting convention’. John Lee (48) of Jenningtree Way, Belvedere, Kent was jailed for 3 months and ordered to pay costs of £600. Lee was convicted of six offenses of cruelty, causing suffering to hens, procuring the birds to fight and using his shed as a venue for cockfighting. Mark Giles (31) of Marringdean Road, South Billingshurst, was sentenced to 1 month in jail and ordered to pay costs of £600. Giles was convicted of procuring cocks to fight and attending the fight. Both were sentenced by Thames Magistrates Court on 15 March 1996. Belcher Anderson (22) also of Jenningtree Way, Belvedere was found guilty of attending the fight (£300 fine) and possession of fighting spurs (£100 fine) and £200 costs. Joseph Anderson (16) of Birchwood Road, Swanley, Kent, was also found guilty of attending and received a 2 year conditional discharge and £30 costs. The following were all found guilty of attending the fight: Geoffrey Jones (31) of Adversane Caravan Park, Billingshurst; Raymond Clayden (32) of Avenue Road, Erith, Kent; Belcher Barnard (42) of Chapman Road, Belvedere; Terrence Ball (35) of Eynsford Road, Crocken Hill, Kent; William Field (48) of Half Moon Lane, Tudeley, Kent; Seamen Anderson (46) of North Road, Belvedere; John Clarke (35) of Dally Park, Lower Road, Hextable, Kent; John Fuller (31) of Star Lane, St Mary Cray, Kent; William Anderson (44) of North View, Birchwood Road, Swanley, Kent.
Paul Hill (35) of Richmond Road, Thurnscoe near Rotherham, South Yorkshire and Malcolm Cooper (41) of Barnetby Road, Scunthorpe, Humberside, both pleaded guilty to attending the fight in the first week of the trial. They were also fined like the others. (All the above 11 received fines of £300 and £200 costs.) Mark Giles and John Lee appealed against their sentences at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday 20 March 1996. Both appeals were dismissed.
A former research vet (we all know what that means), who was employed by the Ministry of Agriculture admitted 8 charges of causing unnecessary suffering and another of breeding and selling dogs without a licence. Dr Helen Hein (69) of Amberwell, Guildford, Surrey was fined £250 and £250 costs for the licence offence and ordered to pay £1000 compensation to the RSPCA by Farnham Magistrates on March 19 1996. Hein was also banned from breeding dogs for 7 years.
The court heard how Hein bred German Shepherd in filthy conditions at her house, many of the 100 dogs were covered in sores or had cuts, one had an eye missing after a fight with another dog. Another was found hobbling around with a stump for a back leg. If she can’t even look after her own dogs at home, what chance have the animals in the labs got ?
David Swanson (28), Darren Swanson (25) both of Pine Road, East Howle, Ferryhill, and Graham Howard (25) of Coniston Road, Ferryhill pleaded guilty to trapping badgers and cruelty to two of their terriers after prosecution evidence at Durham Magistrates. They will all be sentenced on March 29 1996.
Angela Wilson (26) of Inverness Road, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear was fined £200 and banned from keeping dogs for 5 years. She was found guilty of ill-treating two pit bull terriers that were thought to have been used in dog fighting. Miss Wilson denied the charge, and claimed the dogs belonged to her former partner Geoff Smith. In January 1996 South Shield Magistrates confiscated the dogs. An appeal will be heard at Newcastle Crown Court in March 1996.
Darren Thomas Shanks (26) of Nettlewell, Chester-le-Street, pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawfully taking rabbits. Shanks was fined £40 and £40 costs by Appleby Magistrates on the 27 October 1995. Shanks returned to his transit van (after being out lamping) at 2.30 am with 14 rabbits and a hare. He had been hunting with 3 lurchers, and so had broken the conditions set down by the farmer, a David Hastwell, The Buildings, Kaber near Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria.
Jason Brown (19) of Lingmoor Way, Harraby, Carlisle and his uncle Raymond Maxwell (32) of Pennine Way, Harraby, Carlisle were both given 2 year conditional discharges. They pleaded guilty to possessing a shotgun without a licence at Carlisle Crown Court. On 16 February 1996 the court heard how the two had gone shooting rabbits at Low House, Southwaite in Eden Valley near Carlisle. On hearing all the shooting, a local phoned the police after the two had strayed onto his land. Later it was discovered that they did not have a licence for the shotgun. Brown was made to pay £100 costs and Maxwell who has 5 previous convictions for offenses involving guns was made to pay £150 costs.