A 35-year-old man has been sentenced at Newry Crown Court today, Friday 21st June, for involvement in badger baiting and animal welfare offences in relation to cats.

Jason Lee Kennedy from the Bellanaleck area of Fermanagh, was sentenced for offences including causing unnecessary suffering to animals and causing an animal fight.

Commenting on today’s outcome, the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Rural and Wildlife Crime lead, Superintendent McDowell said: “On 22nd April 2022, it was reported to police that there were dogs in a distressed state at a property in the Ross Road area of Bellanaleck.

“Local officers from Erne West Neighbourhood policing team responded to the report, they firstly observed two dogs inside kennels with substantial wounds to their muzzles and face. As part of the investigation a third dog was located nearby with fresh wounds to its face and it was believed at that stage that the dogs had been involved in fighting.

“All three dogs were seized by officers and Mr Kennedy was arrested for causing unnecessary suffering to animals and fighting offences. The dogs were consequently taken into care before being rehomed.  Phones were seized and during forensic analyses videos identified included cruelty to cats.

“Mr Kennedy pleaded guilty to the offences in April and has subsequently been sentenced to a 13 and a half month prison sentence and 13 and half months on licence along with a ten year ban from keeping animals.

“We very much welcome the court’s decision today to convict Mr Kennedy for the brutality inflicted on these animals, and I commend the work carried out by our wildlife department and Local officers from Erne West Neighbourhood policing team and legal services department, to bring this individual to justice for fighting offences.

“This case not only demonstrates the commitment we, as a police service have in tackling wildlife crime, but also the fighting offences committed, which police take very seriously, and we have a responsibility to protect animals from any unnecessary suffering, whilst investigating all reports of organised criminality and abuse.

“If you or anyone you know is concerned about dogs or animals of any kind involved in fighting offences and being harmed, we would ask that you contact police on the non-emergency number 101, or submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ . You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/ “.