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Men filmed attacks on badger setts.

Byline: Brian Daniel

TWO men caught badger baiting and with footage of attacks on animals were yesterday banned from keeping dogs for three years.

Christopher Hindmarsh, 28, of Alwinton Square, and Justin Lang, 24, of Norham Road, both Ashington, Northumberland, were also ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work, when they appeared at Alnwick Magistrates' Court.

The pair, both unemployed, had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of interfering with a badger sett. Hindmarsh also admitted a further charge of attempting to kill, injure or take a badger.

The court heard how between November 2006 and July 2007, wildlife crime police officer Andy Swinburne, local residents and Northumberland Wildlife Trust's badger group were monitoring two setts near Warkworth.

PC Swinburne and a member of the badger group visited the area to carry out a check on the smaller sett at 5pm on July 30, 2007.

While they were there, Hindmarsh and Lang emerged from the wood with four dogs. Two of the dogs appeared to be injured, and later examination revealed one's jaw injury was an old wound consistent with contact with a badger.

It was subsequently proved one of the dogs had been in fighting contact with a badger in the previous 24 to 48 hours. Police also found footage on Hindmarsh's mobile phone of a badger being attacked by a dog. Lang meanwhile had footage on his phone of a fox being attacked by terriers.

The defendants were each given a 12 month community order and must abide by a three month curfew between 10pm and 6am. Each must pay costs of pounds 260. Ownership of the dogs was transferred to the RSPCA.

CAPTION(S):

CRUEL Justin Lang, left, and Christopher Hindmarsh leave court.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 21, 2008
Words:287
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