Badger baiter jailed for animal cruelty

A Bradford man has admitted badger baiting and cruelty to a dog after posting images of his '˜hunts' on social media.

Ben Wilson, 27, previously of Sunbridge Road, Thornton was prosecuted by the RSPCA over the case involving a lurcher called Laddie, pictured above.

He pleaded guilty to the offences at Bradford Magistrates Court, including five counts of taking eight badgers, one of causing unnecessary suffering to Laddie and of failing to meet the needs of nine bull lurcher puppies.

RSPCA inspector Sophie John said:

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“Laddie had severe injuries to his face and body consistent with being used for badger baiting and was suffering a great deal when he was removed by police and placed in our care.

“He wasn’t the only animal to suffer for Ben Wilson’s enjoyment. Wilson’s own hunting diary, seized by police from his home, along with posts on social media, documented the animals he had caused to suffer and die.

“Nine bull lurcher puppies were living in an unsuitable environment at Wilson’s home, it seems likely bred with the intention of being used to inflict suffering, for his pleasure, in the same way.”

In mitigation the court heard that the defendant had self-treated Laddie’s injuries with medication he already had but that he accepted he could have done more for the dog. He also accepted that the environmental conditions the puppies were living in were unacceptable although the puppies themselves were in good health.

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Wilson was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison and was disqualified from keeping any animals indefinitely with no appeal for 10 years. He was ordered to pay costs of £750 and a victim surcharge of £115 to be paid in full within 24 weeks. The dogs were removed from his care.

“I’m very pleased that we will now be able to seek great new homes for these dogs where they will not be caused to suffer, or be forced to be the cause of suffering for other animals,” added Inspector John.

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