A poacher who made shocking videos of his whippet brutally killing wild foxes has been jailed and banned from animals.
Arron Crighton, 21, admitted offences under the 2001 Animal Welfare Act and 2004 Hunting Act after using his dog Jet to attack and kill foxes.
He then posted graphic photographs and videos showing the severe injuries sustained by both his own dog – who he failed to provide veterinary attention for – and the foxes on social media.
Officers have deemed the videos too horrific to be made public.
Last month (March 21), Crighton pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and hunting a wild mammal with a dog.
Today (Wednesday), he was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison after reappearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
PC Peter Baker, of Northumbria Police, said: “The photographs and videos that Arron Crighton made were incredibly distressing and graphic.
“It is clear that he not only showed a total disregard for the welfare of these animals, but took satisfaction from filming this barbaric and criminal activity.
“Crighton cannot be trusted to own a dog and make sure it is adequately protected from suffering, injury or disease. As a result, Jet has now been re-homed.
“This conviction was made possible after a member of the public who saw these disturbing videos online came forward and contacted police. I would ask anyone who sees poaching offences and cruelty of this type to also get in touch.
“I hope this case acts as a reminder to any pet owner that those who fail to ensure their animal’s welfare is met could face criminal action. Anyone who witnesses cruelty or an animal in distress should contact the RSPCA direct or call 101.”
Police were alerted to a number of videos filmed and posted by Crighton, which included footage of a dog fighting with a fox and a person appearing to hold the fox down with their foot.
A second video showed two dogs with their jaws locked around the fox’s neck and body, while a picture was also taken showing Crighton and others holding a dog which had a bloodied fox in its mouth.
After being made aware of the posts, police executed a warrant at an address on Kismet Street, Sunderland, in February this year and seized a mobile phone belonging to Crighton.
Investigators discovered hundreds of shocking photos and videos showing the attacks and subsequent injuries of the animals saved on the phone.
Asked why he had initiated the illegal activity in interview, Crighton responded “for sport”. He also claimed that if one dog was injured by the fox, he would “put another dog on”.
Crighton, of Kismet Street, Sunderland, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and hunting a wild mammal with a dog.
Today, he was sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment and banned from owning any animal for 10 years.
He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.