A LYNEMOUTH man has been jailed for his part in sickening animal cruelty offences.
Wayne Lumsden, 23, of Park Road, pleaded guilty to wilfully killing a badger and two counts of causing an animal fight to take place.
The badger was attacked by his dog Brock and another, and the other two fights involved two cocks against each other and four dogs set on a cat.
Video footage of the gruesome incidents was shown to Magistrates at South East Northumberland Law Courts in Bedlington. It was found on Lumsden’s mobile phone when it was seized by police for an unrelated inquiry.
Connor Patterson, also 23, of Whitfield near Hexham, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing an animal fight to take place and he too received a prison sentence.
One involved a fox being snared and then attacked by a dog. A stick was thrust into the fox’s mouth and a boot, which was later traced to Patterson, was shown on its neck. The other again involved a fox fighting a dog, this time in a cage.
There was also mobile phone footage of these incidents and in all five videos male voices of encouragement could be heard.
The case was brought by Northumbria Police and the RSPCA.
As well as showing the videos, prosecutor Denise Jackman told the court of some text messages that were found on Lumsden’s phone.
Lumsden bragged of ‘killing a badger’ and further texts showed that he was involved in the selling of cock fighting spurs.
Graham Crouth, defending, said: “I’m not going to attempt to justify his behaviour and he appreciates how disturbing the videos are.”
He added that Lumsden got caught up in a group ‘mob’ mentality and felt the need to impress, making it more difficult to say what was happening was wrong, although Lumsden failed to show the courage to do so.
Patterson, speaking for himself, said he was ‘regretful of being in the wrong place at the wrong time’, but accepted that he did not stop the attacks when he could have done.
The farm worker, who had been an apprentice gamekeeper, argued that what he had done did not warrant a prison sentence.
Lumsden and Patterson were jailed for 26 and 20 weeks respectively. They were also banned from keeping animals for 15 and eight years respectively.
After the case, Northumbria Police Wildlife Crime Officer PC Andy Swinburne said: “This was the worst catalogue of video clips concerning animal fighting that I have come across in my time as a wildlife crime officer and the events have appalled everyone who has come across this investigation.
“It highlights the extent to which people such as Lumsden and Patterson are prepared to travel in order to participate in various forms of sadistic pleasure, where they clearly show no regard or respect for the animal being subjected to its horrendous fate, or indeed their own dogs’ welfare. I’m pleased with the sentence passed and hope it will act as a deterrent for like-minded individuals.”