Darlington man sentenced over badger fight

A Darlington man has received a suspended prison sentence in connection with an incident in which a badger was baited.

Matthew Swinbank, 19, of Middleton One Row, had earlier admitted being present at an animal fight, contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Appearing at Bishop Auckland Magistrates' Court he was given a 12 week suspended sentence.

It followed the discovery of an abandoned blood-stained van.

The van was later traced to Swinbank's address.

RSPCA Inspector Gary Palmer described the incident as an "act of barbaric cruelty".

The 19-year-old was also ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and was banned from owning an animal for five years.

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