A man has been jailed after photos were found on his phone of his dogs being set on badgers.

Paul Tomlinson (DOB 24/06/1986), of Melford Road, Nottingham, was found guilty after a trial in January of one charge of keeping three dogs for use in connection with an animal fight, under section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and two charges of willfully killing or attempting to kill a badger, under section 1 of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.

Today (Friday 12 February) at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court, Tomlinson was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison and has been disqualified from keeping dogs for three years.

Two seized lurcher-type dogs will now be rehomed.

The court heard that a warrant was carried out at an address in Nottingham in October 2014, following the RSPCA receiving information about Tomlinson’s activities.

During the search, inspectors found dead deers, hares in Tomlinson’s freezer and lamping equipment. Hooks used for hanging carcasses was found in his house, as well as blood on the floor.

RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport, who investigated the case, said: “His phone was seized, and on this phone were photos of his dogs attacking badgers. The fact that he did nothing to stop this and stood by and took photos says it all.”

Mike Butcher, chief inspector of the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit, said: “Badger-baiting is an absolutely horrific practice and this shows the sickening levels of needless animal cruelty that people who do this are responsible for.

“It is premeditated animal cruelty – to deliberately go out into the countryside purely to cause horrific injuries to an iconic wild animal is stomach-churning. These badgers would have suffered tremendously during these sickening attacks.”