A MAN who killed a badger, took a red kite chick and kept a fox cub in his bedroom has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Dewi Price, aged 40, of no fixed abode, had denied seven wildlife offences, including on one occasion on which he killed a badger in the Builth Wells area.

The other six offences related to May 2019 when in the Gelligaer area of Hengoed Carmarthenshire, Price twice disturbed a nesting red kite. On another occasion, he intentionally took a red kite and had the bird in his possession.

He was found guilty at a trial at Cardiff Crown Court on February 4 and sentenced to a six-month prison sentence that was suspended for 12 months, a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and was disqualified from keeping dogs for two years.

The RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit began investigating Price after pictures and videos on social media labelled "in Builth Wells" appeared to show a dead badger at the bottom of a dugged area.

In June 2019, the RSPCA and police raided a property in Gelligaer where they found and seized the fox cub

The RSPCA said the cub had been kept in Price’s bedroom, and they had found food, water and faeces. Hunting DVDs were found including one called ‘Badger Diggers Dogs’.

A female black patterdale terrier type called Gypsy and a young female black patterdale with a white chest called Faith were found and seized.

Price’s mobile phone history showed searches for how to "train a red kite to hunt for you" and enquiries on finding kites.

South Wales Argus: The chick in the nest. Pic: RSPCA.The chick in the nest. Pic: RSPCA.

Video footage from Price’s mobile phone from May 2019 showed him up a tree at a red kite’s nest where there were three live chicks and a parent red kite nearby. Another video on May 18, 2019 showed Price attempting to feed two chicks in the nest.

Another showed Price giving the chicks food and picking the young birds up. There were three chicks seen in the nest.

On May 19 Price sent a video including footage seemingly of a man-made nest in a cupboard, and another video showed the chick being fed by Price in the man-made nest. Further footage showed the chick being stroked while a radio played loudly..

During the police search at the Gelligaer property, no red kite chicks were found and what happened to the chick is unknown.

Chief inspector Ian Briggs said: “We’d like to remind people that wild animals such as birds and badgers are protected by law and, working with partner organisations, we’re here to ensure that they are safe in their natural habitats.

"We would particularly like to thank the Gwent Police Rural Crime Team for their support and assistance with this case.”

Price was also ordered to pay £125 costs and a £25 fine for a breach of a suspended sentence order, along with a victim surcharge of £128. His two dogs were also taken away.