A BRADFORD man has been jailed and given a lifetime ban from keeping animals after admitting a number of cruelty offences including ‘badger-baiting’.

Ben Wilson, 27, was also charged for causing unnecessary suffering to a bull lurcher-type dog called Laddie.

In a case brought by the RSPCA, Wilson, of Sunbridge Road, pleaded guilty to eight offences under the Protection of Badgers Act and Animal Welfare Act at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court.

He admitted five allegations of taking eight badgers on five different dates in July and August last year, including at Thornton in Bradford and a location in Kent.

He was also guilty of cruely and failing to meet the needs of Laddie, alongside a further charge of failing to meet the needs of nine bull lurcher-type puppies.

The charges linked to the cruelty of the dogs were said to have taken place at an address in High Street, Thornton, in August and September 2015.

In mitigation, the court heard that Wilson had self-treated Laddie’s injuries with medication he already had, but that he accepted he could have done more for the dog.

He also accepted that the environmental conditions the puppies were living in were unacceptable, although the puppies themselves were said to have been in good health.

Wilson was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison and was disqualified from keeping any animals indefinitely, with no appeal against the ban allowed for at least ten years.

He was ordered to pay costs of £750 and a victim surcharge of £115, both to be paid to the court in full within 24 weeks.

A deprivation order was placed on the dogs.

Speaking after the case, RSPCA inspector Sophie Long said: “Laddie had severe injuries to his face and body consistent with being used for badger baiting, and was suffering a great deal when he was removed by police and placed in our care.

“He wasn’t the only animal to suffer for Ben Wilson’s enjoyment.

“Wilson’s own hunting diary, seized by police from his home, along with posts on social media, documented the animals he had caused to suffer and die.

“Nine bull lurcher puppies were living in an unsuitable environment at Wilson’s home, it seems likely bred with the intention of being used to inflict suffering, for his pleasure, in the same way.

“I’m very pleased that we will now be able to seek great new homes for these dogs where they will not be caused to suffer, or be forced to be the cause of suffering for other animals.”

Last week, Peter Walker, 21, formerly of Shirley Road, Bierley, was jailed for 26 weeks for his role in a gang of ‘badger-baiters’ from Bradford who tortured animals in North Yorkshire in January 2015.