A sadistic trophy hunter smiled as he filmed himself stabbing a young deer in the neck and posing with dead hares during an illegal hunting competition.
Jimmy Price was found guilty of taking part in an illegal hunting competition, which saw entrants compete for £1,000 in prize money, with the winner being the hunter who could produce evidence of having killed the most hares.
Police arrested the 25-year-old after a police chase where his phone was confiscated and handed to the RSPCA for investigation.
RSPCA inspector Pippa Boyd reportedly found numerous, gruesome hunting images and videos from various dates in October and November 2018 on Price’s phone.
One video apparently showed Price stabbing a deer several times in the neck but not killing it. A second man is then said to have taken over, cutting at the animal’s neck with a blunt knife until he succeeded in cutting the animal’s throat.
The deer was then apparently shown bleeding to death, as the voices of four or five men yelling encouragement are heard in the video.
Appearing at Medway Magistrates Court, Inspector Boyd said another video of a second deer having its throat cut was also found.
During the trial, WhatsApp messages were also shown discussing the hunting game, in which entrants paid £100 to take part and win the prize of a £1,000 and an engraved cup.
Price initially faced nine charges relating to breeches of the Hunting Act, the Deer Act and the Wildlife and Countryside Act, all of which he denied.
Although all the photos submitted to the court were downloaded from Price’s phone, he was reportedly not always in shot.
Inspector Boyd said she believed this was because he was taking the photos, adding she recognised one of the dogs in the images as a Lurcher belonging to Price.
Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Rowan Morton was allowed to introduce evidence of Price’s bad character – that he had three previous convictions related to causing unnecessary suffering to dogs.
Price declined to give evidence on his own behalf, and was found guilty of two counts of killing a deer, and two of killing a hare.
Magistrates were told the conviction put Price in breach of a 90-day prison suspended sentence that had been imposed in March 2018, after his conviction on two counts of theft and one of attempted theft.
Price is due to appear in court again in January, along with two other men, to answer further charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog and horses.
The magistrates decided to defer sentencing on the current convictions until the completion of the next trial on January 10.
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