Badger baiters jailed after undercover investigation

Friday 4th October 2019 3:47 pm
Cardiff Crown Court ()

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Three men have been jailed and a fourth has received a suspended sentence after they were found guilty of badger digging in Pembrokeshire.

Jamie Rush, 27, of Trefecca near Brecon, and Cyle Jones, 31, of Cwrt Tarrell on Newgate Street in Brecon both appeared in Cardiff Crown Court, which sat as a Magistrates Court, last week along with Christian Latcham, 32, of Porth and Thomas Young, 26, of Newbridge near Newport.

They were convicted on Thurdsay, October 3.

The four men all featured in a BBC Wales undercover investigation into organised badger digging in Wales in a TV documentary called The Secret World of Badger Baiters which aired on May 22 2018.

The men had previously pleaded not guilty to attempting to kill, injure or take badger in the Clunderwen Llanddewi Velfrey area on March 24, 2018.

The offence comes under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and was prosecuted by the animal charity, RSPCA Cymru.

Following the trial, an RSPCA Cymru spokesman said: “The RSPCA special operations unit were subsequently able to view footage obtained by the BBC including footage of the defendants on 24 March.

“The defendants had previously stated that they were not looking for a badger but were fox hunting.

“At the court hearing this week a member of the RSPCA’s special operations unit gave evidence along with the BBC undercover researcher - who was given anonymity.”

On Thursday, Rush and Jones were both sentenced to 22 weeks in prison each and they were both ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

Latcham was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison and to pay a £115 victim surcharge, meanwhile Young was ordered to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Young was given a curfew order for 12 weeks and he will also have to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

As he was convicted, Rush as disqualified from keeping dogs for life. The other three defendants had already been disqualified from keeping animals for life – an order which the RSPCA said will continue.

Chief inspector Ian Briggs, from the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said: “We would once again like to thank BBC Wales for their initial work on this case which paved the way for the RSPCA to investigate fully.

“Sadly, people who carry out such activities which inflict pain and suffering on wildlife continue to offend in Wales. This prosecution sends a message that the RSPCA is committed to bringing those who take part in badger baiting and digging to justice.”