Badger baiters avoid prison terms
24 January 2008- BBC News
Two teenagers from the Scottish Borders who were involved in badger baiting
have avoided custodial sentences. Sean Dodds, 17, and Kyle Lawrie, 19, both of
Hawick, admitted digging around badger setts, while Dodds also admitted allowing
dogs to kill a badger. Dodds was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community
service while Lawrie was sentenced to 160 hours. Sheriff Kevin Drummond said he
would have jailed them if it had not been for their remorse and co-operation. In
addition to their community service, both men were disqualified from keeping
dogs for five years at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
Both men admitted digging for a badger at a sett at Acreknowe reservoir near
their home town in October 2006. Lawrie, of Church Lane, pleaded guilty to a
similar offence at woodland near Hawick on 15 November 2006, while Dodds, of
McLagan Drive, admitted wilfully allowing a dog to attack and kill a badger on
In passing sentence, Sheriff Drummond commented on the "barbaric" nature of
the crime. He added that it had been correctly described as a "horrific
incident" by Dodds' solicitor. "It is right that the Crown should have taken
this prosecution on indictment," he said. "It is a serious breach of this
legislation and undoubtedly merits being dealt with by a significant period of
imprisonment. Had it not been for the assistance which Dodds provided to the
police and his remorse - which I have accepted in this case - I would have dealt
with this by imprisonment."
Supt Mike Flynn of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals said the convictions were welcome. "They were given a sentence which is
a direct alternative to jail so that is encouraging," he said. "It is also
pleasing that they have been banned from keeping dogs for five years."
Scottish Badgers species protection officer Ian Hutchison said he hoped the
sentences would deter others. "The sheriff has sent a clear message that this
kind of cruelty will not be tolerated," he said. "A lot of work has gone into
getting these convictions and hopefully those who were engaging in this practice
will now be dissuaded."
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