Three Yorkshire terrier men found guilty

THREE men accused of illegal hunting on land near Selby have been found guilty of the offence.

Mark Anthony Tiffin, Ben Scott Lloyd Galsworthy and Neil Burlingham appeared at Selby Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday accused of hunting a wild mammal with a dog, and each received a conditional discharge.

North Yorkshire Police arrested all three in Gateforth, Selby, in January 2010, after a landowner and a member of the public reported seeing a maroon Range Rover and three men with dogs and shovels on private land.

Tiffin, 20, of Derwent Place, Knottingley, told the court he had travelled with Burlingham, 35, of Clifford, Wetherby, and Galsworthy, 32, also of Derwent Place, Knottingley, to Drax to look for rabbits, then to Hambleton Hough to “get rats out of mounds of muck”, before one of the dogs had run away.

District Judge Marie Mallon said: “The court can infer that the defendants were hunting for wild animals, but the prosecution do not have to suggest which animal they were hunting.”

She criticised a lack of cohesion in the defendants’ evidence.

Tiffin, currently serving a 12-month prison sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, received a two-year conditional discharge.

Galsworthy and Burlingham also received two-year conditional discharges, and were ordered to pay costs of £500 each.

Ms Mallon also told Galsworthy: “I was seriously considering forfeiture of your Range Rover, so you might consider yourself lucky that I am not.”

Background

Three men accused of illegal hunting with dogs have today been found guilty at Selby Magistrates Court, North Yorkshire.

Mark Anthony Tiffin of Knottingley, West Yorkshire, Ben Scott Lloyd Galsworthy of the same address and Neil Burlingham of Clifford near Wetherby were each given a conditional discharge for two years with Galsworthy and Burlingham each ordered to pay £500 costs.

All three men were arrested in January last year after members of Selby Badger Watch reported seeing three men with dogs and shovels close to a badger sett which he was monitoring. The men denied they were hunting a wild mammal with a dog.

The Judge told the men that their stories were inconsistent whilst witnesses for the prosecution were credible and concise.

The two dogs, which had been examined by a vet at a cost of £2,092 were confiscated by the police but were later taken from the kennels by person or persons unknown.

Mark Anthony Tiffin, aged 20, of Knottingley, West Yorkshire is to appear at Selby Magistrates Court on 24th March 2011 charged with being present at an animal fight. It is alleged that Tiffin used his mobile phone to record images of the animal fight and he faces a number of charges relating to this incident.

More

After defending three badger diggers at Sunk Island, Near Hull last year, Defence Lawyer, Clive Rees today (8th February 2011) defended three young men accused of hunting with dogs in the Gateforth area near Selby. The case of causing criminal damage to crops was dropped.

Neil Burlingham, aged 34, Ben Galsworthy, aged 32, and Mark Anthony Tiffin, aged 20, parked their Range Rover in a farmers field without permission. It was stated that they had travelled to that area to hunt rats in a manure heap located in the field.

However, when the boot of their vehicle was opened one of the dogs ran off. The three men followed with another black terrier on a lead. It was then alleged that they entered into privately owned woodland adjoining the farmer’s field, an area known to have active badger setts.

The farmer gave evidence, stating that he had not given the accused permission to go on to his land. The farmer also stated that none of his employees would give that permission.

The owner of the woodland gave evidence and stated that as he was walking through his woods at about 2.15 in the afternoon, he heard digging noises and approached the men and asked what they were doing. They replied they were looking for their dog which had followed a rabbit, conflicting stories were then told, that they were looking for a fox and that they were hunting rats for Tommy “down the bottom”.

The owner knew no-one called Tommy and asked the three men to leave his land. Members of Selby Badger Watch who were monitoring the sett at the time spotted the three men and telephoned the police. Through binoculars the badger watch member kept the men under surveillance until they drove off in their Range Rover.

They were then apprehended by the police who found spades covered with fresh red earth, 2 black terriers, nets and other equipment. The three men were then arrested. Under cross examination, Mark Tiffin stated that he had not been digging, but had merely been jabbing his spade into the earth which was a habit of his when he wasn’t in conversation with anyone.

Mr Moore, prosecuting put it to Mr. Tiffin that he had carried the spade to the woodland for one purpose and one purpose only and that was to dig for a protected mammal. The case continues tomorrow.