Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 15:34 UK

'Cruel' badger-baiters sentenced

Peter McGuigan [L] and Simon Evans
McGuigan [L] and Evans were equipped with dogs, nets and tracking devices

Two men have been given six-month suspended jail sentences after they were caught badger-baiting with dogs.

Simon Evans, 40, of Pencader, and Peter McGuigan, 37, from Llandysul, must also carry out 240 hours of community work.

District judge Mark Layton, sitting at Llanelli magistrates, said they were guilty of "sickening and appalling acts of cruelty".

The friends were also banned from keeping dogs for seven years and must pay 4,000 each in costs.

The pair were convicted at the town's magistrates' court last month.

Sentencing the duo, Mr Layton, said the matters were so serious only a custodial sentence was justified.

He said the only explanation as to why they had gone badger baiting at woodland near Boncath, Pembrokeshire, on 14 October 2006 was "for some sort of enjoyment".

But he said how anyone could enjoy such "sickening and appalling acts of cruelty" was "quite incomprehensible".

Badger sett

Earlier, Aled Owen, defending, said custody would have a devastating effect on the defendants.

He said as a result of last month's trial, McGuigan had lost his job.

He said both men did not have previous convictions for similar offences and played full parts in their local communities.

Last month's trial heard that both went equipped with dogs, nets and tracking devices to hunt badgers in October 2006.

A nearby landowner heard a commotion and called police.

When officers arrived a limp badger was found in the mouth of a lurcher dog belonging to them and a metre-deep hole had been dug close to a badger sett.

It was claimed the men had flushed out a badger and then watched for sport as their dogs fought it.

They were found guilty of four out of five charges brought by the RSPCA.

Badger-baiters given jail warning
07 Mar 08 |  South West Wales
Two 'were caught badger-baiting'
03 Mar 08 |  South West Wales
Men 'hunted rabbits, not badgers'
05 Mar 08 |  South West Wales

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