Badger baiters jailed after BBC undercover investigation
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Four men convicted of badger baiting following an undercover investigation by BBC Wales have been jailed.
Christian Latcham, 32, from Porth, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Thomas Young, 26, from Newbridge, Caerphilly, Cyle Jones, 31 and Jamie Rush, 27, both from Brecon, Powys, were all found guilty at Cardiff Crown Court.
They denied attempting to kill or take badgers in Pembrokeshire in March 2018.
But their actions were uncovered by the BBC Wales Investigates programme.
The four defendants were handed the following sentences on Thursday:
- Latcham has been sentenced to 26 weeks
- Jones has been sentenced to 22 weeks
- Rush has been sentenced to 22 weeks
- Young has been sentenced to 20 weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months. He will be subject to a curfew between 21:00-06:00 for 12 weeks
When Jones was taken away, someone in the public gallery shouted “keep your head up love”, he was previously jailed in June for 18 weeks after admitting unnecessary cruelty to animals, relating to two dogs who were injured.
The latest prosecution followed investigations by the RSPCA after the programme was shown.
The trial was told it was accepted the four defendants had not caught a badger at Llanddewi Velfrey on 24 March.
But prosecutor Jon Tarrant said: “There is ample evidence here that they were attempting to take a badger.”
The prosecution said the defendants were “on the chase” when a badger was spotted in woodland near Narbeth.
The court heard the group pursued it, dug a large hole to try and catch it, but ultimately failed to corner the animal.
District Judge Neil Thomas said it had been a “strong prosecution case”.
He said a BBC researcher who gave evidence against the four men was “a clear, confident and compelling witness”.
The judge said he did not believe the only defendant to give evidence, Jamie Rush.
He said: “I have no difficulty coming to the unreserved conclusion, that he was not telling the truth.”
The court heard the previous convictions of the four defendants – Latcham has 12 previous convictions for 24 offences, including for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Jones has 13 previous convictions for 18 offences, including animal cruelty, while Rush has eight previous convictions for nine offences and has previously been sentenced to two years in prison, and Young also has previous animal cruelty convictions.