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Brutal catalogue of animal cruelty leads to jail for Nottinghamshire man

A man who made shocking videos of his dogs brutally killing wild foxes, badgers, deer, and pigeons has been jailed and banned from keeping dogs.

Brutal catalogue of animal cruelty leads to jail for Nottinghamshire man

  • The case: Daniel Taylor was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail for making horrific videos where he encouraged his dogs to kill wild animals such as foxes, badgers, deer, and pigeons, showcasing a grave level of animal cruelty.
  • Evidence: After a warranted search at Taylor’s property in Worksop, police discovered numerous animal remains and evidence of wildlife persecution, alongside distressing videos and images on his phone showing the violent acts.
  • Guilty Plea: Taylor admitted to four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to protected animals, with his actions spanning from August 2021 to February 2023, illustrating a prolonged period of animal cruelty.
  • Law Enforcement Response: The case highlighted the dedication of Nottinghamshire Police’s rural and wildlife crime unit and their collaboration with the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), underlining a strong stance against wildlife and rural crime.

 

Police raid

Acting on intelligence, officers from the Bassetlaw neighbourhood policing team, Newark and Sherwood Operation Reacher team, and the Force’s tactical support group carried out a warrant at Daniel Taylor’s home, in Worksop, on 24 February 2023.

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Evidence

The warrant uncovered a hoard of 15 deer skulls, 14 fox tails, two deer heads, two sets of antlers, and a bag of wire snares. A blood-stained quad bike and lamping equipment were also recovered.

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Taylor was detained and his phone was seized. Dogs found at his address were also subsequently seized as part of the investigation.

His device was found to contain hundreds of horrific videos and images, filmed and taken by the 32-year-old, showing his dogs being cruelly set on foxes, badgers, deer, and pigeons.

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Distressing videos

Taylor, of Shrewsbury Road, is heard in the distressing videos encouraging his dogs to kill, while under his control, and causing unnecessary suffering and death to wild animals.

Specially qualified Nottinghamshire Police rural and wildlife crime officers worked incredibly hard to investigate the case which led to Taylor being charged with wildlife offences.

Police work

Investigating officers painstakingly reviewed all of the upsetting footage which was downloaded from Taylor’s phone. This footage was condensed down to 31 videos, showing animals being viciously attacked and killed, which were submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as part of the case against Taylor.

A total of 161 upsetting and graphic images were also found on his phone.

The plea

Taylor went on to plead guilty to four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, namely foxes, badgers, deer, and pigeons, by setting dogs on them.

These offences were committed in Nottinghamshire between 31 August 2021 and 21 February 2023.

Jailed

Taylor was jailed for two years and eight months when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Thursday (7 March 2024).

He was also banned from owning, keeping, or participating in keeping dogs and was told it would be seven years before he could apply for a termination of this disqualification order.

Judge’s comments

Judge Mark Watson said:

“These offences cannot in any way be described as sport. This was a barbaric hobby of yours. 

“This was planned activity by you and you clearly revelled in the suffering of these animals.

“You encouraged your dogs to attack these animals with ferocity and they suffered immeasurably.

“These were prolonged and repeated incidents of serious cruelty and examples of sadistic behaviour.”

Rural crime – police reaction

Chief Inspector Clive Collings, the force’s lead for rural and wildlife crime, said:

“Taylor actively encouraged his dogs to attack and kill wildlife for no other purpose than his own entertainment.

“He allowed his dogs to capture, torture, and kill animals of varying species, and he then took them home and used their parts as trophies.

“Not only did he gain satisfaction from filming the barbaric activity, on occasion he joined in by holding several of the wild animals and kicked one of the foxes while it was clearly still alive.

“This was a complex investigation and our dedicated rural crime PCs spent a substantial amount of time combing through the evidence gathered while working with the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) and the CPS to ensure Taylor was properly held to account for his disgraceful behaviour.

“It’s thanks to their hard work, tenacity, and determination that we’ve now been able to bring Taylor to justice for his appalling crimes.

“This case serves as a demonstration of commitment to our rural communities and that we will relentlessly investigate and, where evidence exists, prosecute perpetrators of wildlife and rural crime.”

 

PC Mark Holland, of the Worksop South neighbourhood policing team, was among the officers who executed the warrant at Taylor’s home. He said:

“The videos filmed by Taylor are the most distressing, cruel, and vile I have seen and the noise in which the animals can clearly be heard screaming out in pain is something that no one should have to listen to or watch.

“Taylor encouraged his dogs to kill, and he could be seen himself in one of the sickening clips.

“His dogs which acted at his command were seized during the warrant and taken to secure kennels.

“Rural crime remains one of our priorities – and that extends beyond protecting people and rural businesses, to animals and wildlife who are illegally targeted and inhumanely slaughtered purely to satisfy a perverse desire.

“I want this to send a strong message to anyone targeting our rural communities, wildlife, businesses, or homes. We will work tirelessly to bring those responsible for rural and wildlife crime to justice and protect the public and animals within our rural communities.”

RELATED 

•  Man charged after shocking hoard of deer skulls, fox tails and weapons found

•  Hoard of 15 deer skulls, fox tails, rifle and ammunition found in Nottinghamshire raid

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