Wales

Badger-baiting trio jailed for 'medieval barbarity'

Badgers at night

Three men have been jailed for badger baiting and animal cruelty following a probe by a BBC Wales TV programme.

District Judge Neil Thomas described the offences as "medieval barbarity" at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates' Court.

Ryan Harrison, 24, was jailed for 22 weeks, Thomas Young, 20, got 20 weeks and Cyle Jones, 31, was given 18 weeks.

The court was told that an RSPCA inquiry was launched following an undercover investigation by BBC Wales Investigates. It was shown in May 2018.

Harrison, from Newport, pleaded guilty to 15 badger and animal cruelty offences, while Young from Newbridge admitted six charges.

Jones, from Brecon, admitted two charges of unnecessary cruelty to animals, relating to two dogs that were injured.

He was given a custodial sentence because he was not allowed to keep dogs, having been previously convicted of having a dog dangerously out of control.

Image caption Ryan Harrison (left) and Thomas Young (right) were secretly filmed for the BBC Wales Investigates programme

In their defence, the men said they had grown up with countryside pursuits.

There was no mitigation, said the judge, as far as he could see.

"The absence of remorse was obvious," he said.

Chief inspector Ian Briggs from the RSPCA's special operations unit said "the prolific nature of these horrific crimes" are "some of the worst I - and my inspectors - have ever had the displeasure of witnessing".

"This barbaric, deliberate and calculated torture has caused wildlife and dogs to suffer immeasurably."

All three defendants were banned from keeping dogs for life.

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