Court case - December 2022
At Cwmbran Magistrates Court on 14th December 2022 Jordan Thomas, from Brynmawr, was sentenced for introducing his dog to a badger sett. (Charged under Section 3 (d) of the PoBA 1992 - Interfering with badger sett by means of ‘causing a dog to enter a badger sett’).
The sentence imposed by the Court consists of a curfew with electronic monitoring to remain indoors between 8pm and 4:30am for 12 weeks. Thomas was also charged £400 Court costs and a victim surcharge of £95.
A trail camera, set up by an ecologist, caught Thomas encouraging his dog to enter the badger sett in April 2022.
Thomas initially pleaded “not guilty”, saying he was “rabbiting”. He later changed his plea to “guilty” acknowledging that it was an active badger sett.
In Court the magistrate informed Thomas that if any animal had been injured as a result of his actions then he would have been facing a custodial sentence. The magistrate also stated that she was a person with knowledge of the countryside and it was obvious the holes were a badger sett so his earlier excuse of being familiar with rabbit hunting and therefore knowing the difference between a sett and a warren was not true. It was also pointed out to Thomas that he was trespassing when the offence took place, thus aggravating the offence.
PC Mark Powell, who was involved in the case, had been campaigning for stronger sentences for those committing offences against wildlife. Perhaps his message is starting to be heard.