Thug is spared jail after badger killing in Unstone

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A thug who was found guilty of killing a badger and interfering with a badger sett in Unstone has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Monday, May 18, during sentencing how Connor Podmore, 20, of Park Drive, Thrybergh, Rotherham, had been involved with three others who were previously jailed for their part in killing the badger at land near St John’s Road, Unstone.

Hanger Wood off St John's Road in Unstone.

Hanger Wood off St John's Road in Unstone.

Podmore was found guilty during a previous trial and has been sentenced to a 12 week prison sentence suspended for 12 months with a curfew and he must pay an £80 victim surcharge and £920.

He was also given a ten year ban from having a dog after a dog involved in the offence has been ordered to be rehomed.

The three other offenders Antonio Miguel Alonso-Brown and Liam and Nathan Swift were each previously sentenced to twelve weeks in jail for killing a badger after the RSPCA and forensic experts matched DNA from the dead animal to one of the culprit’s bloodied clothes. They pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing the badger.

Alonso-Brown and Liam and Nathan Swift were also banned from keeping dogs for life during a previous court hearing in February.

This case broke new ground as it is the first time the badger DNA profiling technique had been used to match a dead animal to its killers.

The RSPCA stated that Alonso-Brown, 22, of Shelley Drive, Herringthorpe, Rotherham, and Nathan Swift, 20, of Hague Avenue, Rawmarsh, Rotherham, were caught by police as they attempted to flee the crime scene in June, last year. Liam Swift, 22, also of Hague Avenue, was found hiding in a field, according to the RSPCA.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Ian Briggs said the case demonstrated how modern forensics can be applied to animal cases to catch those who might previously have evaded justice.