Teenager banned from keeping animals after hedgehog death

Dead hedgehog Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The hedgehog died after being stabbed and hit with a brick, the court heard

A Suffolk teenager has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years, after he was found guilty of killing a hedgehog.

Tyler Perkins, 18, who has learning difficulties and has spent much of his life in care, attacked the animal in his garden in Ipswich, on 9 September.

The court heard he hit the hedgehog with a brick and stabbed it with a knife, before throwing it over a neighbour's fence.

Magistrates in the town described it as "an appalling act of cruelty".

Perkins, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich, was also given an 18-month community order and ordered to pay costs and charges totalling £385.

'Rapid decline'

Magistrates told him he was spared jail because of his clean record and determination to do better.

The case was brought by the RSPCA and Perkins was found guilty in December of inflicting unnecessary suffering to the animal.

RSPCA Inspector Jason Finch said he hoped the sentence would act as a deterrent.

"Such horrible and intentional acts of cruelty aren't to be accepted and won't be tolerated," he said.

"This lad's obviously had a tough upbringing. Hopefully this will be a new start for him and he can get his life back on track."

Mr Finch said the local hedgehog population was in rapid decline.

The attack took place in a town identified as a hotspot for hedgehogs and where work is ongoing by Suffolk Wildlife Trust to protect the species.

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