'Killer' badger diggers targeted
29 June 2009 - BBC News
The RSPCA has said it will continue to gather evidence and prosecute men who
dig out badgers and kill them. It follows the convictions last week of two men for badger digging and other
offences. They will be sentenced next month by magistrates at Shrewsbury.
An RSPCA inspector secretly filmed the men, from Lancashire and north Wales,
digging at a sett near Whitchurch. The video evidence was described as vital to the bringing the case to court
and securing convictions.
Gerard Monk, 27, of Millbrook Close, Wheelton, Lancashire and 37-year-old
Paul Billington of Llyndir Lane, Rossett, near Wrexham, north Wales, denied the
offences, but were convicted after a two-day trial.
The charity is crediting the use of new forensic techniques and the increased
use of covert filming for the increase in convictions.
DNA kits which can be used at suspected crime scenes also help to identify
different animals much more quickly.
Ch Insp Ian Briggs of the RSPCA's Special Operations Unit said he was
delighted that the two men had been convicted at Shrewsbury Crown Court last
week. "The operation behind this case took some eight months in total, a lot of
time, a lot of man hours and a lot of effort by the RSPCA." he said. He said officers had been watching one of the men in his home area in
Lancashire. Information had led them to a badgers' sett at Pond Wood, near Ashford Grange
Farm at Whitchurch.
An undercover inspector filmed the men as they dug into the sett. They left
when they realised the were being filmed, but were arrested later.
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