TWO men are behind bars and a jail sentence hangs over a third after a court heard that they went on a cruel badger baiting mission.
A terrier-type dog suffered severe injuries to its face when it entered a badger sett in the Whitwell area.
Magistrates at Chesterfield were told that the trio had gone equipped with spades and tracking equipment to locate a badger.
Barry Scott, 24, of Norman Crescent, Sunnyfields, Doncaster; Liam Smith, 21, of Denaby Avenue, Conisbrough; and Daniel Davey, 22, of Manor Court, Denaby, admitted interfering with a badger sett and causing unnecessary suffering to a dog on 30th November last year.
They pleaded guilty on the basis that the offences resulted from reckless behaviour. The RSPCA, which prosecuted the case, believed there was deliberate intent and a mini-trial was held to decide what exactly happened.
Deputy District Judge Goodman said all three had lied about their intentions at the mini-trial in which Davey came across as ‘the prime mover.’ Smith was a willing participant while Scott allowed himself to be led by them.
He said their sentences should act as a deterrent to others interested in bager-baiting and locked up Davey and Smith for 20 weeks. Six dogs taken from the pair.
Scott was handed a 16-week jail term, suspended for a year. He was also ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work, with £250 costs.
All three were banned from keeping animals for an indefinite period.
At an earlier hearing, charges of causing unnecessary suffering to three other dogs were withdrawn.