ONE man has been jailed and three others given suspended prison sentences after they were caught badger baiting in North Yorkshire.

All four have also been banned from the keeping dogs for five years and the three not locked up were banned from the county for a year.

They were among a group of men who had travelled from Hartlepool to a badger sett near Hovingham which they started digging up on January 11.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said they put an underweight Jagd terrier with an untreated eye infection and painful eye ulcers into the sett.

But a member of the public spotted what they were doing and alerted police.

By the time officers arrived the dog, called Brock, was seriously injured on its face and muzzle.

It has been treated by vets and will be rehomed.

Clint Dodd, 23, Michael Dodd, 28, both of Thornhill Gardens, Hartlepool, Daniel Joyce, 29, of Granville Hartlepool and Connor Pounder, 23, of Speeding Drive, Hartlepool, all admitted digging for badgers, interfering with a badger sett and causing unnecessary suffering to Brock.

Michael Dodd, who was already subject to a suspended prison sentence for driving whilst disqualified, was jailed for 14 weeks.

The other three were given a 10-week suspended prison sentence at Scarborough Magistrates Court.

A fifth defendant, Shaun Brown, 28, of Runciman Road, Hartlepool, failed to attend court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Source: The York Press