Badger baiter gets less than 6 months jail

richard alan atkins  - badgerbaiter

richard alan atkins – badger baiter (photo credit: RSPCA)

In a clear demonstration on how weak punishments are to those who choose to break UK wildlife law a badger-baiter has received a 24 weeks prison sentence.

Richard Alan Atkins, of Oversetts Road, Newall, Derbyshire, admitted nine charges when he appeared at Burton upon Trent Magistrates Court on Friday. He was sentenced to 24 weeks prison, banned from keeping any animal for life and equipment used for baiting and hunting were seized. [pullquote]After all of my years working in animal welfare, I still find it shocking that someone would deliberately go into the countryside with their dogs, with the sole intention of inflicting unimaginable suffering on a wild animal for their own twisted pleasure. It is even sadder knowing that, there are many others who are still doing this sort of thing in England and Wales to this very day. Make no mistake though, we will continue to track them down and the next knock on their door could be from us[/pullquote]

Atkins, 45, kept film of his sickening attacks when he used his dogs to hunt down and kill wildlife. His prosecution followed on from 2 years of investigation by the RSPCA special operations unit. They were able to prove that a voice heard in the background of the video footage belonged to Atkins.

The nine charges Atkins admitted to included:

  • causing animals to fight,
  • keeping dogs for the purpose of animal fighting,
  • causing unnecessary suffering,
  • and animal welfare offences.

Evidence shown at the magistrates hearing included a range of video clips showing Atkins dogs – a Patterdale terrier and a bull lurcher type dog attacking two badgers and a fox in separate incidents in 2010. The court also saw video footage of the dogs tearing off a badgers leg in another incident as spectators including Atkins laughed in the background.

It was not just the wildlife that were horrifically injured during the attacks. Both dogs also suffered substantial injuries and Atkins admitted to treating the injuries himself rather than take the dogs to a vet for treatment. Atkins treated the dogs himself so that the vets would not become suspicious.

When Atkins house was raided last March by police and RSPCA inspectors the Patterdale terrier had substantial injuries to its jaw and was also blind in one eye.

The dog together with 4 others that had been bred for fighting were seized at the time of the raid together with equipment – such as search lights and digging tools –  used by Atkins in his badger baiting outings.

Chief inspector Ian Briggs, from the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said: “An enormous amount of time and effort was put into this investigation by our officers and prosecutions team.

“However, it makes it all worthwhile when you see someone like Atkins – who was responsible for such abhorrent levels of animal cruelty – admit the charges.

“After all of my years working in animal welfare, I still find it shocking that someone would deliberately go into the countryside with their dogs, with the sole intention of inflicting unimaginable suffering on a wild animal for their own twisted pleasure.

“It is even sadder knowing that, there are many others who are still doing this sort of thing in England and Wales to this very day. Make no mistake though, we will continue to track them down and the next knock on their door could be from us.

External sites:

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

5 thoughts on “Badger baiter gets less than 6 months jail

  1. This excuse for a human being, isn’t sick or mentally ill … he’s just plain evil, like the type of people that helped to run the Nazi concentration camps. If this cowardly sub-human didn’t get his thrills from torturing wild animals, children or the handicapped would probably be his favoured target.

  2. There is no excuse for this sub-human to go out to deliberately harm and kill beautiful animals who have done no any harm to anyone.
    Really needs putting down as I expect that’s what happened to his Dogs. I know it would not be painful but it would be one less sub human to keep. I would be quite happy to give the injection myself!

  3. This man is mentally ill and needs to be watched by the social services. There’s a lot of evidence that people thatburt animals also abuse the people they live with. While part of me would lie him culled another would like him to have to undergo therapy to help him deal with his need for power over other creatures, annd realise they have equal rights to him.

  4. I’d love to hold him up infront of a group of savage dogs and see if hes smiling then.

  5. What a sick b***ard this Richard Atkins is, its the only way these sickos can get their rocks off . he should have had dogs set on him. rip his balls off so he cannot have any sub human kids.

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