South Yorkshire: Heartless thugs seen with rifles and spades after they killed and buried a badger, court hears

Chesterfield Magistrates' Court
Chesterfield Magistrates' Court

Three heartless thugs are due to be sentenced after they killed a defenceless badger in the woods near Unstone in South Yorkshire.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday 18th February how Antonio Miguel Alonso-Brown and Liam and Nathan Swift were caught by police near a badger sett north of Hanger Wood off St John’s Road, Unstone.

Prosecuting solicitor John Sutcliffe, representing the RSPCA, said: “A member of the public telephoned police to say the men were interfering with a badger sett.

“Police noticed a blue Subaru car registered to Liam Swift at the scene.”

“They were told the men had been at the sett for an hour and shouts and yells had been heard.”

“Dogs had also been seen and the men had possibly been carrying rifles or spades during the incident.”

“The men were seen as they then ran out from the area concerned.”

Police discovered spades and the body of a freshly killed and buried badger.

DNA evidence taken from a stained t-shirt which had been carried by one of the defendants.

According to Mr Sutcliffe, matched DNA from the body of the badger.

Mr Sutcliffe explained that a spade also had one of the badger’s hairs.

Alonso-Brown, 22, of Shelley Drive, in Herringthorpe, Rotherham, and Liam, 22, and Nathan Swift, 20, both of Hague Avenue, Rawmarsh, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to jointly killing a badger after the incident in June last year.

Magistrates adjourned the case to consider probation reports before sentencing which is due to take place on Thursday 26th February.

The Swifts were released on bail.

Alonso-Brown remains in custody as a serving prisoner.

A further defendant Connor Podmore, 20, of Park Vale Drive, Thrybergh, Rotherham, pleaded not guilty to killing a badger, interfering with a badger sett and hunting a wild animal.

His case was adjourned for a trial on Wednesday 13th May.

Podmore was released on bail.