'Twisted' badger baiter Anthony Lee jailed
A man who urged his dog to attack and kill badgers and kept footage of the fights on his phone has been jailed.
A magistrate wiped away tears while watching three videos of animal fights that Anthony Lee, 23, recorded.
Lee, of Coronation Way, Keighley, West Yorkshire, admitted three counts of animal fighting and was jailed for 23 weeks at Bradford Magistrates' Court.
The RSPCA said the case was "as bad as one can get" and described Lee's actions as "twisted and sick".
End Quote Carroll Lamport RSPCA
It is just for their own twisted and sick kicks and there is a really high level of cruelty”
In the first video played to the court, a badger could be heard squealing alongside the sound of laughter from Lee and another person.Life ban
The second video showed a badger being killed after being shaken around in Lee's dog's mouth while another dog had hold of it.
The third video showed a dog fighting a badger in its sett.
Badgers suffer an "extreme amount of pain" as a result of badger baiting and the dogs involved also suffer injuries, prosecutor Nigel Monaghan told the court.
He added: "In terms of animal cruelty the RSPCA regard this case as bad in terms of suffering and cruelty as one can get."
Lee was given a three-week discount on the maximum sentence the court could hand down because he entered a guilty plea.
Chairman of the bench Robert Thornton said: "This is the most serious case we can think of."
Lee was also banned from keeping or looking after animals for the rest of his life. Both of his dogs have been re-homed.
Badger baiters draw no financial benefit from their actions, RSPCA investigator Carroll Lamport said after the hearing.
He said: "It is just for their own twisted and sick kicks and there is a really high level of cruelty."