A soldier has been jailed for six months after he was found guilty of badger baiting.
Craig Trevelyan, 32, of Pen y Groes, Carmarthenshire, was part of a gang which dug the badger out of its sett at Lydney in the Forest of Dean. The animal was then set upon by dogs, before being shot.
Trevelyan, a sergeant with the Royal Welch Fusiliers, was convicted of three offences under the Protection of Badgers Act.
Coleford Magistrates’ Court heard police were tipped off about the offences by animal lover Andrew Downie, who had seen the soldier ad the rest of the gang at the sett.
Officers later found Trevelyan’s digital camera and Toyota car near the scene. A terrier dog injured in the fight with the badger was also discovered nearby.
Mr Downie, who tried to stop the gang leaving and scratched out the Toyota’s registration number in mud on the forest floor was awarded £250 by magistrates for his “courageous” actions.
Trevelyan was ordered to forfeit any weapon used in the offence and banned from keeping dogs for seven years. His car was also confiscated and he was banned from driving for 12 months.
His lawyer, Clive Rees, said the soldier, who had denied the charges, intended to appeal against the court’s decision.
Outside court, RSPCA Chief Inspector Lee Hopgood said he was “absolutely delighted” with the sentence.
“This shows other people involved in this activity that if they are caught they will be prosecuted. It is an offence that involves an immense amount of cruelty.