A man who killed a fox “in a sadistic and prolonged act of
cruelty” has been sent to prison for five months and banned from keeping
dogs for life
Burrell, 50, of Short Street, Stapenhill, was jailed after being found guilty
of causing unnecessary suffering to a wild animal by confining it to a cage
before allowing a dog to attack, and causing or attempting to cause an animal
was arrested and taken into custody by officers after a one-and-a-half hour
sentencing hearing at Burton Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
a previous hearing it was said Burrell caged the fox for eight hours before
fitting a lead around its neck and ‘slinging’ it in a dog kennel
to be mauled to death “like a rag doll.” The fox finally died
from a ‘fatal blow’ to the head with a piece of wood. Burrell
had claimed he killed the fox instantly with three blows to its skull, before
slinging the animal’s dead carcass to a Staffordshire bull terrier
kept in a pen at his house.
Sutcliffe, prosecuting, said this act of cruelty ‘shows total lack
said: “If he is able to do this to an animal who knows what else he
is capable of? “Burrell is clearly not capable of keeping animals,
and with behaving the way he has, I’m calling for a life-long ban
to prevent him from keeping dogs again.
killed the fox in a sadistic and prolonged manner.” Simon Dean, defending,
said: “My client accepts what he did was wrong, he’s very sorry,
and understands how serious this matter is.
should not have behaved like that. I think unpaid work would be more beneficial
as this would be like pay back to the community.” However,
magistrate Linda Cooper said the offence was so serious jail would be the
only option. She said: “For the serious offence of causing unnecessary
suffering to an animal you will go to prison for five months and for causing
an animal to fight you will also serve five months, to run concurrently.
you pleaded guilty you would have only served three months.
carried out a sadistic and prolonged act of cruelty and deliberately put
the fox in the pen to fight.” RSPCA Inspector Penny Barker said she
was ‘extremely pleased’ with the sentence, as this was the ‘worst
and most horrific’ case of animal cruelty she had ever seen in her
said: “This incident will send out a strong message that this behaviour
will not be tolerated and people caught doing such acts will be prosecuted.
I hope this warns other people.” Inspector Barker added: “It
is not an offence to catch a fox in a humane trap. However, the way in which
the animal is disposed of must be humane. The manner in which this fox was
killed was both illegal and inhumane, causing barbaric suffering to the
RSPCA recognises the necessity of capturing animals on a limited scale for
a variety of reasons. However, there is never any justification for inflicting
a cruel and painful death on any animal, regardless of species.
fox was killed by being set on by a dog and clearly this is a horrific way