South East Wales

Rhondda men 'stamped urban fox to death'

Three men who killed an urban fox by stamping it to death have been given suspended prison sentences.

Rhondda Magistrates Court was told they caught the animal in a supermarket car park in Pontypridd where staff used to feed it.

Jamie Davies, 19, Jason Jones, 25, and Daniel Silvestros, 22, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by stamping, beating and kicking.

All were sentenced to 20 weeks in jail, suspended for a year.

The court heard the three men, who live in villages in the Rhondda, were out drinking in September last year.

After drinking up to eight pints of beer each, they called at the Tesco superstore in Upper Boat, Pontypridd, in the early hours to buy more alcohol.

Aled Watkins, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: "It appears that Daniel Silvestros chased and caught a fox that was in the car park.

"It had been hiding just behind a parked car.

"It appears from statements taken from members of staff that the fox was a friendly fox and regularly approached the superstore.

"They occasionally fed it and had even given it a name, which may account for the reason it was able to be caught."

'Very barbaric act'

He added: "Daniel Silvestros caught the fox by the tail and went on to swing it from side to side."

He said that Silvestros, who dropped the animal after 10 seconds, later told police the fox was "going nuts" as he swung it.

Mr Watkins said Jones then picked it up and, in a "very barbaric act, swung the fox from behind his back head-first into a wall, then swung again, striking it to the floor".

He said Davies then attacked the animal "kicking and stamping on its head."

Mr Watkins added: "Having done that he picked it up and dropped it in the road".

He said staff working at the 24-hour superstore were shocked and upset by what they saw, with one woman openly crying.

"The fox was bleeding from the mouth and whimpering in pain.

"Somebody told the boys to 'clear off' because they could see it was still alive and they appeared to want to attack it again."

Mr Watkins said the fox died within 20 minutes. It had suffered multiple injuries.

All three were arrested two weeks later after they were traced from the car park's CCTV footage.

They were also ordered to carry out 200 hours community work, banned from keeping animals for 10 years and ordered to pay £600 costs each.