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COURT: Maidstone man Mark Bond killed deer and caused harm to his dog

Friday 27th May 2022

A MAIDSTONE man has been banned from keeping animals after killing a fallow deer and causing harm to his dog.

Mark Joseph Bond (38) of Mayfair Avenue, caused unnecessary suffering to his dog, Vegas, and was sentenced to 150 days in prison, suspended for 18 months.

The RSPCA launched an investigation after mobile phones seized as part of a separate enquiry into hare coursing in Suffolk uncovered a WhatsApp group chat detailing crimes against wildlife, including videos of dogs attacking wildlife.

Police executed a warrant and five dogs were seized from the address in Maidstone.

Bond’s phone was seized and analysed.

Inspector Boyd added: “The only data that I found of relevance were WhatsApp messages that support that Mark Bond uses his dogs to persecute wildlife.

“There were no videos or images of relevance as although it is evident that images and videos had been received and sent, these had been deleted from the phone and were not recovered.”

An independent vet, who assessed the seized dogs, said two had “extensive” scarring.

In his report to the court, he said: “These injuries are typical of those sustained by dogs that engage with foxes or badgers both below and above ground. Injuries caused by badgers are usually more serious than those caused by foxes.

“Terriers may be used underground to cause foxes to bolt from their earth to be then chased by lurchers. If the dog catches the fox inevitably injuries are caused to both the dog and the fox.

“This obviously causes both the dog and the fox to suffer and whilst the suffering may be relatively short it can be very intense. If the injuries to the dog are not treated then the period of suffering will be prolonged. The suffering is clearly unnecessary for both the dog and the fox.”

During his trial, Bond told magistrates that the messages were “banter” and were not real.

The dogs, who were all taken into RSPCA care, will be rehomed.

Bond was ordered to pay £1,300 in costs with a £122 victim surcharge and was disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years. He will also have to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.

Sergeant Darren Walshaw said: “The UK is a nation of animal lovers and there is absolutely no place in a civilised society for the type of criminal acts committed by the likes of Mark Bond.”