Badger baiters boasted of their exploits

Badger attackers Christopher Hindmarsh, 28, and Justin Lang, 24, boasted about their exploits to police.

They also filmed one attack on a badger and bragged in text messages about how they had captured and killed the animals, a court was told.

Hindmarsh of Alwinton Square, and Lang of Norham Road, both Ashington, admitted charges linked to badger-baiting when they appeared before magistrates at Alnwick, Northumberland.

Both men were granted unconditional bail until later this month, when they will be sentenced.

The case had been listed for a five-day hearing, but both men changed their pleas and admitted charges of damaging a badger sett, obstructing access to a sett and causing a dog to enter one. Hindmarsh admitted a further offence of attempting to injure or take a badger.

Magistrates were told that two setts which had been previously attacked were kept under watch between November 2006 and July 2007 by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, local residents and wildlife crime police officer PC Andy Swinburne.

PC Swinburne and a member of the group visited the smaller of the setts on July 30, 2007 and saw Hindmarsh and Lang come out of the wood with four dogs. Two of the dogs had injuries and when one of them was later examined, one dog had an old wound probably caused by a badger.

When the sett was examined, PC Swinburne found that its entrances had been blocked and two new holes had been dug for the terriers to get inside.

Magistrates were told that when the men’s mobiles were checked, they contained footage of a badger being attacked by a dog. Lang’s phone also had text messages bragging about how he had captured and killed badgers. Hindmarsh had also bragged to police officers previously about his exploits with the animals.

Clive Rees, defending Lang, said he accepted joint responsibility for what happened because he did nothing to stop the dog.

Source : The Chronicle