A 28-year-old former teaching assistant who encouraged a child to participate in “perverse animal cruelty at its worst” got no jail time.
Pictures and videos shared in 2020 on a Facebook group – The Real Terrier Men and Lurcher Men, showed dogs kept by Paris Jade Carding and her then-boyfriend Grant Leigh Jnr. and Leigh Jnr’s father, Grant Leigh Snr, attacking badgers and foxes. The videos and photos were found by a police wildlife crime officer after a tip-off, reported Manchester Evening News.
Leigh Snr, who was serving a suspended sentence at the time of the offences, operated as an administrator of the Facebook group. Tameside magistrates court in England heard that he boasted about taking his son badger baiting as a way of celebrating his recent prison release.
An investigation by Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and Cheshire Police executed raids on Oct 26, 2020. They found six dogs in filthy conditions at Leigh Snr’s house on Marler Road in Hyde. One was found at Carding’s house. The dogs — four terriers and three lurcher types — had injuries consistent with hunting activities, and were taken into RSPCA care.
Prosecutor Hazel Stevens said that Leigh Jnr’s phone was seized and messages and videos relating to the incidents were found leading to prosecution. A disturbing footage taken from the phone was shown at the court. It showed three dogs attacking a fox while a child is heard saying, “I want to bash it again.” In another video, Leigh Jnr was seen helping the youngster “bash” a badger with a shovel. In another video, taken by Carding she can be heard saying “they love it, bash! Bash!”
Initially she denied being present at the time of the incident. Stevens said that one could clearly hear Carding on the film and the “enjoyment and encouragement in those parts of the film. Saying ‘bash, bash’ and ‘do you love it’ (to the child).” The lawyer said that Carding was “filming and encouraging death and serious injury to badgers and dogs, putting stress on a wild animal.”
Carding was sentenced to 22 weeks custody suspended for 12 months, according to Daily Star. Leigh Snr was handed 12 weeks suspended sentence for 12 months. The two were ordered to pay £1,000 ($1,307.83) costs towards the investigation.