Badger baiting trial faces delays
FIVE men, including one from Donaghadee, charged in connection with alleged badger baiting are unlikely to stand trial before next year, Ards Magistrate's Court has heard.
Chris Kirkwood (22) and Ryan Kirkwood (21) from Belfast, 40-year-old Darren Millar from Belfast, Graham Officer (42) from Donaghadee and Edward Edens (22) from Belfast have been charged with interfering with a badger sett, unlawfully digging for badgers, causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in relation to a terrier dog and abandoning an animal.
Ryan Kirkwood has additionally been charged with resisting police. Several of these charges may not proceed as they are currently being appealed because they are not valid under current Northern Ireland law. The men were initially charged in April 2012, and appeared before the court on several occasions last summer.
The charges relate to an alleged incident on February 24, 2012. At a bail hearing earlier this year, a prosecution lawyer described footage of a badger being torn to shreds by dogs.